Thursday, June 14, 2018

How Google Optimizes the 2018 FIFA World Cup

How Google Optimizes the 2018 FIFA World Cup

When it comes to Google search queries, some of the most search terms are related to sports, with basketball and association football (soccer for our American readers) being one of the most searched sports worldwide. This month, the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia, which aims to become the largest sports event of the year.

With some of the world’s best football players competing in the grandest stage of the sport, billions of people are expected to watch the games live and through their devices. The 2018 World Cup will not aim to become the most-watched sports event in the world, but it will also be the most-searched as well.

With this in mind, Google has launched new search features for the event itself, to provide users with some of the latest news, game scores, and top players of the World Cup. Here’s a quick look at how Google has optimized their services for the World Cup.

Google Doodle

To start things off, one of the first things that Google has done to celebrate the start of the 2018 World Cup is by creating a Google Doodle that marks the beginning of the event. The Doodle shows various fans from different parts of the world celebrating and cheering on the kick-off that another fan is about to do.

Google Doodle World Cup

Google Doodles have always been creative and interesting, celebrating important events and figures through art. The FIFA World Cup Doodle, in this case, is a wonderful representation of the world’s anticipation and excitement for the biggest sporting event of the year.

Google Search Optimized

Being one of the most-watched events in the world means that people would want to keep themselves updated on their favorite teams and players. With this, having all of these sources in one place makes following the World Cup much more convenient thanks to Google. By searching “World Cup 2018”, “FIFA World Cup”, or other similar terms, you would be able to access the World Cup snippet, which allows you to access information such as real-time scores, news, players, and brackets that help keep you updated.

Google World Cup Snippet

Another nifty feature from Google search is the score pin, which is making its debut this World Cup as well. This pin allows users to receive notifications on games and news while accessing other applications or web pages.

Google News

Android users can also experience the World Cup fever as well through their Google News app. Users can access the latest news and track every team in the competition using the World Cup tracker. The tracker allows you to quickly view team standings and upcoming matches. All you have to do is to pick a group or team to view their standings and matches, and then you’re set.

 

Google Assistant / Google Allo

Google Assistant and Google Allo have also been optimized for the 2018 World Cup, allowing users to ask Assistant on the latest news and upcoming fixtures. You can also access some handy World Cup trivia while you’re at it. You can also ask for some crucial data and stats to beef up your World Cup knowledge before and during the big event itself.

Google Allo World Cup

Google Allo World Cup 3

Google Trends

If you want to look for the latest search data leading up and during the World Cup, Google Trends has it in store for you, as they have their own World Cup section as well. The World Cup section allows you to see who are the most searched players across different countries, along with the most popular World Cup nations per country. You can also view trending keywords, and the most popular questions being asked about the World Cup as well.

Google Trends 2018 World Cup

Google Trends 2018 World Cup 2

Along with all of that, you also get some videos which show the insights from current and legendary footballers as well.

Google Trends 2018 World Cup 3

With the 2018 World Cup being watched by billions across the world, checking the latest trends has now been made easier using Google Trends.

Key Takeaway

The World Cup has always been one of the most watched sporting events in human history, with billions watching their favorite teams compete on the pitch. With the 2018 World Cup happening shortly, expect another spectacle of passion, talent, and resilience, and trending news and topics along the way.

If you have questions and inquires about SEO tips and strategies, leave a comment below and let’s talk.


How Google Optimizes the 2018 FIFA World Cup was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Weebly Offers a Robust Digital Marketing Solution for Small Business Owners

Business Spotlight

Starting a business is an exciting and nervous venture. Startups face different challenges than businesses opened only a decade ago. With the growth and evolution of the internet, businesses have the opportunity to connect and engage with customers both on and offline.

Today, having a website for your business is a necessity. No longer are the days that businesses simply take out Yellow Pages Listing and market within their community. Shockingly enough, small businesses are still utilizing word of mouth as their primary source of marketing, according to CNBC’s 2017 Small Business Survey.

While word of mouth is still a viable marketing tactic, owners are missing out on a great opportunity to reach customers online. Customers turn to the internet for reviews, referrals, business information, and customer service.

To reach and engage with these customers, businesses need a company website. With the availability of website builders, such as Weebly, this is no longer an expensive and daunting task for small business owners.

Weebly is a great resource for entrepreneurs and small businesses to build their site and engage with current and prospective customers. With their drag-and-drop builder, owners can easily customize professional and appealing sites.

Drag, Drop, and Launch

In the age of Google, customers expect to be able to access useful information on any topic, event, business, product, or idea with the click of a button. A company website will serve as the central location for small businesses to provide this information to prospective customers.

Using Weebly, small business owners can easily create and launch an informative and alluring site for customers to access pertinent information about their business.

With their drag and drop builder, Weebly has made it easy for small businesses to create their site with little to no technical expertise needed. To begin, business owners choose between 45 themed templates for their site or online store, then simply edit and customize the site with their information. For those with technical experience, owners also have the option to edit their template via the source code to fully customize and design their site.

Weebly’s online store site packages range from $8/month with their Starter Package to $38/month for their Performance package. For the number of features, storage and support that each package comes with, Weebly is providing premium resources to business owners at very reasonable rates.

Mobile Responsiveness

In 2016, Google announced the number mobile search queries surpassed desktop queries, with mobile queries amounting to more than 50 percent of searches globally. Although the exact difference between mobile versus desktop queries is still unknown, it is important for businesses to have a mobile-friendly site for the on-the-go customer.

“Weebly is always built with the mindset that our product must first be optimized for mobile,” said Kim Chappell, Head of Communications at Weebly.

Luckily for business owners, Weebly has alleviated the trouble of creating a mobile-friendly site by designing responsive templates.

“All sites on our new templates are mobile responsive,” said Chappell. “If someone is on an older theme, they can easily update their site template anytime for free without losing their content.”

This puts Weebly and its users ahead of the curve of Google rolling out their mobile-first indexing come July 2018. This means for mobile search queries, Google will begin crawling and indexing mobile sites first, instead of the desktop versions.

By having a mobile responsive site, business owners can be assured the on-the-go customer can find and access their site with ease.

SEO

A common misconception among small business owners is believing traffic will automatically come to their site once it is launched. Weebly not only recognizes the importance of creating a website for small businesses but marketing the site itself.

“We realize that creating your website or online store and hitting the publish button is a monumental moment for any small business owner,” said Chappell. “It reflects a milestone in their journey and comes with the expectation that because you have a live website, all of a sudden you will have tons of traffic.”

When it comes to finding and attracting new customers online, creating a website is only the first step. Small business owners must then expand their web presence in order for customers to find their site.

“The truth is,” Chappell said, “if you build [your site], then promote it, [customers] will come.”

A key strategy to gaining traffic and attracting customers online is SEO. The purpose of SEO is to optimize a site to improve its visibility and ranking among organic and free search engine results.

According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes more than 40,000 search queries per second, equaling to more than 3.5 billion searches per day. The traffic, and potential customers, will come to the business’ site if they are ranked highly among those search results.

Knowing the benefits of SEO for small business, Weebly made their SEO features available in all of their site packages to help owners easily navigate their digital marketing efforts.

Among the SEO features available for all Weebly sites are:

  • a sitemap
  • meta descriptions
  • alt image tags
  • page-specific descriptions

For those wanting a more in-depth knowledge of SEO, check out our SEO Guide. It thoroughly details SEO practices starting from site building to tracking analytics.

eCommerce SEO

For small business owners selling products online, Weebly designed their online stores with search engines in mind, making it easy for customers to find them.

“We have zeroed in on making marketing integrated into your site and store across the platform so it’s simple to use and is generating new visitors to your site,” said Chappell.

Weebly has additional free features available for site optimization through ecommerce SEO. As business owners build their online store, Weebly automatically produces their ecommerce SEO features.

“We now autogenerate the Product Title and Short Description of their product into SEO tags,” said Chappell. “[We] use their Product Title to generate the SEO Page Title and Product Permalink, and the Short Description as their SEO Description.”

These automated processes keep title tag and meta description creation easy and concurrent for business owners.

Beyond SEO

Weebly offers other digital marketing integrations for sites that go beyond SEO efforts. These features give businesses the opportunity to expand their customer engagement and reach customers across multiple channels.

Weebly’s integrated email marketing platform, Weebly Promote, connects to the business’ site and helps with lead capture, customer segmentation which aids in the development of email campaigns. Campaigns can be formed around various target groups based off customer behavior, auto import of products, logos and colors.

Business owners personalize Promote’s professional layouts and templates to send different email types including newsletters, promotions, and announcements. Additionally, owners can create automated emails to be sent when activated by triggers.

“[Promote] autopilots important communication like order tracking emails, abandoned cart email and even happy birthday emails to drive customers back to your online store,” Chappell said.

This provides small business owners an effective way of remaining in communication with customers without needing to manually send out each individual email.

Another digital marketing strategy available for business owner is retargeting via social media advertising.  Retargeting allows owners to reengage customers and drive traffic back to their site, and potentially leads to more conversions.

“We’ve recently released a simplified connection to Facebook Ads which allows you to retarget your store customers that have left products in the shopping cart online or allow those who have visited your site or store to see paid ads of your product on their Facebook feed,” Chappell said.

Owners can access and control this technology via their Weebly dashboard. At a glance, owners are able view the metrics, health of the marketing campaign and, most importantly, how much money it’s driving for the business.

Weebly’s Bright Future

Always keeping the betterment of their users in mind, Weebly has formed strategic partnerships that will continue to hold their share in the site builder market, and possibly grow their competitive advantage amongst their competitors. The latest being announced that Weebly was acquired by Square.

“Working with Square will provide one cohesive solution for small business owners online and offline that currently doesn’t exist in this market,” Chappell said. “We’re incredibly excited about the ways we will be able to help entrepreneurs of all types as we move forward together.”

For small business owners, the fully integrated Square and Weebly partnership will provide significant benefits for growth. Combined with Weebly’s already integrated email marketing platform and social media advertising, the acquisition has unlocked the opportunity for business owners to create an omnichannel experience for their customers.

Weebly’s current partnership with multi-carrier shipping software, Shippo, is already delivering substantial savings for online store owners. Shippo is now fully integrated into Weebly’s newly released Commerce 3.0 creating a “smoother backend experience for merchants” and saving them up to 40% off shipping costs and printed labels.

Weebly continues their development and improvement with the best interest of their users in mind first. Moving forward, these partnerships create a unified, one-stop shop for small businesses and online stores.

“You will see very exciting features coming in the near future,” said Chappell, “and they are always built with mobile and SEO in mind.”

The potential return on investment is undeniable for small business owners utilizing all of Weebly’s features. From site building to digital marketing to ecommerce, Weebly has managed to simplify each step for business owners navigating into the digital spaces at an affordable cost.


Weebly Offers a Robust Digital Marketing Solution for Small Business Owners was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

SEO Hacker 2018 Midyear Roundup

SEO Hacker 2018 Midyear Roundup

We’re halfway through 2018, and SEO has already made bold steps into shaping the future of the industry. From new algorithm updates, new services, along with new data regulation policies, SEO is truly becoming bigger than it ever was before.

As we get approach the second half of the year, it looks like that more changes are surely in store, especially with SEO becoming more competitive than ever. As we prepare ourselves for the rest of the year, let us take a look back at some of these news, reviews, and guides that have shaped up the first half of the year.

Daring SEO Strategies You Must Try This 2018

Daring SEO Strategies for 2018

The start of 2018 saw the emergence of new trends and strategies that aim to shape up how SEO would be done during the rest of the year. This article shows some of the latest and boldest strategies that would soon become an important element in your SEO strategy. Some of these strategies include using voice search, video content marketing, and mobile optimization.

Google Images Update Removes View Image and Image Search

Update Removes View Image and Image Search

Perhaps one of the biggest updates in one of the most popular Google services, the “View Image” button in Google Images was removed to comply with changes caused by a copyright lawsuit. This update meant that users would have to access the webpage of the image source to extract the image file. This update among Google images users, with a good number of people taking time to adjust to the changes.

Keep the Pace: Preparing for the Google Speed Update

Preparing For the Google Speed Update

2018 has been a year in which mobile SEO has been put into perspective, with more strategies adjusting to optimize web pages for mobile devices. The upcoming Google Speed update, which will be released around July 2018, will include page loading speed as a mobile ranking factor. With mobile loading speed becoming an important factor, this article serves as a guide to how to optimize your mobile web pages for Google Speed.

Budget-Friendly Google Chrome Extensions For Your SEO Needs

Budget-Friendly Google Chrome Extensions For Your SEO Needs

When it comes to SEO functionality, Google Chrome is the ideal web browser that allows you to perform SEO tasks more efficiently. For the SEO practitioner on a budget, this comes in handy, as Google Chrome Extensions are budget-friendly, and make your browser much more useful. This article is a list of some of the best Chrome Extensions that you can use for SEO-related tasks.

Exploring the Google Lighthouse Chrome Extension

Exploring Google Lighthouse

Website audit tools are some of the most effective tools in SEO, as it helps our team assess website performance, and see what we can optimize to serve our clients better. Google Lighthouse is one of these tools, and in this article, we show how to audit websites using it and see if it does the job well.

GDPR: What You Need to Know

What You Need To Know About GDPR

One of the biggest headlines over the past few months was the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation last May 2018. This new policy aims to improve data protection and transparency in websites across the world and ensure that user trust remains when data is being shared. This article covers what the GDPR brings in, along with how it affects your website’s SEO.

International SEO: Things You Need to Know

International SEO Things You Need to Know

With the SEO industry continuing to grow as the years go by, this also means that it has also gone international as well. With that in mind, this article serves as a guide to what you need to know when it comes to doing International SEO, along with some of the best strategies you can use.

Best URL Shortening Tools For 2018

Best URL Shortening Tools For 2018

Despite being one of the most popular tools from Google, the URL shortening service Goo.gl would be shut down in favor of the new Firebase Dynamic Links. Despite the discontinuation of Goo.gl, there are a good number of effective alternatives that get the job done. This article lists down some of the best URL shortening tools that you can use this 2018.

Analyzing Google’s March Algorithm Update

Analyzing Google’s March Algorithm Update

Last March, a good number of SEO practitioners experienced a fluctuation in some of their website rankings, which led to some speculation that Google has rolled out another algorithm update. As it turned out, a new update was indeed being tested, which caused some website rankings to be affected permanently. This article provides an analysis of this algorithm update and shows its effects.

Key Takeaway

The first half of 2018 was definitely an interesting and exciting one for the SEO industry. With the next six months coming in fast, expect more updates and new strategies coming your way soon.


SEO Hacker 2018 Midyear Roundup was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Link Cheetah: The SEO Hacker Review

Link Cheetah: The SEO Hacker Review

Links have been playing a vital role in SEO for a long time, as they are the key to helping your website grow and gain more traffic. Link building has been standard practice for the whole SEO industry, with new and innovative strategies being crafted on a regular basis. Some of these strategies have bought a lot of success to our clients, as they receive high traffic that helps strengthen their branding.

Link building is serious work, as we invest a good amount of time and effort into it to ensure that we achieve the desired results that satisfy our team and our clients. Crafting the best link building strategies is not only done through a good amount of research and some trial and error but also using some of the latest and most effective SEO tools available. One of these new tools is Link Cheetah, which is the latest addition to our SEO Hacker toolbox.

Managing our website links is one of the most important tasks that our link building team does on a regular basis. With the right tools, accomplishing these tasks become quicker and more efficient. With that in mind, is Link Cheetah one of these tools? Let’s find out.

Before we get into the review, we would like to invite you to try out Link Cheetah for free on a limited basis and see if it is the tool that fits your link building needs.

Starting up

Upon logging in, you can already allow Link Cheetah to track the backlinks of your website by adding a domain. Simply click on the gray box on top of the home page and click “Add new domain”.

Link Cheetah Domain List

After clicking the button, the next step is to add the URL of your website. You also have the option of adding redirecting domains as well. Depending on your plan, you can input around 500 to 10,000 domains, which is more than enough to monitor your most important domains.

Link Cheetah Add Domain

After adding your domain, Link Cheetah will be analyzing the domain to extract and process all of the backlinks. This tends to take a few minutes, dependent on the number of backlinks that you have on your website.

Overview

Once Link Cheetah has processed all of your website’s backlinks, you can now browse through them on the Overview page. From here, you can view all of the referring domains, check their Ahrefs domain rank score, and track dofollow, nofollow, and indexed links. If you want to take a look at a specific domain, you can enter the URL in the search bar, and filter the results through various options, such as only view the indexed and dofollow links, or view nofollow links that have not been indexed by Google.

Link Cheetah Overview

For a closer look into these domains, you can click on each of them to receive extra details, such as the referring page, Google Index, Anchor and Backlink, and a Do or Nofollow indicator. Having this amount of detailed information allows you to analyze the all of the links within your website.

Link Cheetah Referring Page

Lastly, you also have various options on the right as well, such as delete these links, add a comment, refresh the links, and the option to disavow the link.

Pages

The second important feature of Link Cheetah is the Pages section, which allows you to identify the links that are present within a specific webpage. These web pages are ranked based on the amount of referring domains within that page, and upon clicking, you can view these referring domains, while also look into the web pages that are from your website.

Link Cheetah Pages

Along with being able to view the websites that contain your backlinks, you can also look at the anchor text as well.

Link Cheetah Anchor Texts

This handy feature allows you to view your links that are present in other websites while also look into the most frequently used anchor texts, which helps you see if it is effective on generating traffic or not.

Changes

The third feature on Link Cheetah is Changes, which allows you to view the links that have experienced changes for various reasons. Tracking these links are crucial, as these changes can impact the amount of traffic that you will receive. Some of these changes include a dofollow link becoming a nofollow link, or a link getting removed from the Google Index.

Link Cheetah Changes

Anchor Text

The fourth feature is the Anchor Text, which is similar to the feature that is present in the Pages section. This allows you to see which anchor texts contain the highest amount of referring links and domains, and look into where these links can be found.

Link Cheetah Anchor Text

This simple feature comes in handy, especially when it comes to knowing where your users can find your web pages over the internet.

Disavow Links

The last feature is the disavow links tool, which is the place where you can see links that you have disavowed from the pages section. As of this review, there have been no disavowed links. However, the option to add these links is a simple process, as you can disavow links with just a few clicks.

Link Cheetah Disavow Link

Verdict

Link building tools are important in our SEO strategy, and Link Cheetah is another valuable addition in our toolbox. While it may be a tool that is simple and efficient in its functionality, it also makes it a very user-friendly tool as well. Overall, we would definitely recommend this tool for link building specialists, as it provides them with simple and robust functionality.

Key Takeaway

While Link Cheetah may be a relatively new SEO tool, it is a tool that helps our team perform well, and make the task of tracking down backlinks much easier to perform. As our company grows, our toolbox grows with it, which results in everyone generating better results that satisfy everyone.

If you have questions and inquiries about SEO tools and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.


Link Cheetah: The SEO Hacker Review was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Augmented Reality and Local SEO: Looking Into The Future

Augmented Reality and Local SEO

Mobile technology has come a long way over the past decade, with smartphone and tablet technology experiencing rapid development. Today, mobile phones are not only devices that are used only for calling and texting, as they have become versatile devices that can perform a variety of functions such as gaming, mobile browsing, music and video playback, and even augmented reality.

When it comes to augmented reality, the relatively new technology has improved by a significant amount since being introduced to the world, with more applications and devices being able to support it. Augmented reality is defined as a real-world environment that is enhanced by virtual graphics that integrate with the said environment. While it may be a new technology that is still only used by a limited number of platforms, there have been a good number of successful applications so far.

Notable examples of successful augmented reality applications include the game Pokemon Go, Google Translate, Amikasa, Quiver, Holo, and Yelp Monocle. Among the mentioned applications, Pokemon Go has seen the most success, with over millions of users worldwide, making it a surprise hit. With the success of these applications, it would not be surprising that it other industries would tap into the technology. One of the industries that can see future success using augmented reality is SEO, as it could be used as a viable marketing tool that can generate interest that can lead to more organic traffic.

With SEO in mind, here are the best ways to implement augmented reality into your local SEO strategy.

Local SEO and Navigation

Perhaps one of the best places to implement augmented reality is at Local SEO, which can help boost marketing by a considerable margin. We have covered local SEO strategies in some of our previous articles, and we have seen that focusing on mobile optimization is one of the best ways to help users look for your business.

One of the most important elements in local SEO is location, as it would allow users to be able to look for your business on services such as Google maps. Geotargeting helps Google identify your location, which helps them adjust location-based search results. This means when I search for the best Pizza places near my area, all of the results that would show up must be within the Manila area.

Best Pizza Place

So how does Augmented reality help local SEO? For starters, it can help users navigate through cities and look for places they want to go using augmented reality tools and applications. The number of users using navigation tools has been increasing over the past few years, in part due to how well these tools have been performing, with more accurate locations and larger directories of businesses and landmarks.

How will AR help your business?

Other than making it easier for users to navigate through different cities and landmarks and find their desired locations, augmented reality also helps boost search traffic and website dwell time as well. It is common for users to search for a website of an establishment to inquire and look into their services, and then find the location in a map service.

Augmented reality can also be used as an interactive marketing tool as well. Interactive advertisements viewed through AR lenses will soon become more common. Examples of application of augmented reality in marketing can be found on e-commerce sites and several big brands. Take Adidas and Converse, for example, where they used augmented reality for users to virtually try out and fit some of their latest shoes. Some furniture companies have also used augmented reality to help their users visualize what piece of furniture would be an ideal fit inside their home.

With so many choices available for users today, using augmented reality to allow your users to experience what your business has to offer can become a crucial factor in their decision to go to your business. This increased level of user interaction ensures that your brand remains visible and relevant despite the presence of new technology.

How to optimize for Augmented Reality

Optimizing for augmented reality is wholly similar to optimizing your business for local SEO. We have touched on these topics before, and here are some key steps that you should do in order to prepare your business for augmented reality:

Optimize your Google My Business listing – One of the very first things you need to do when setting up your business is optimizing your Google My Business listing. This means adding all of the crucial details, which include business address, operating hours, and contact details.

Create a Virtual Tour – Adding a virtual tour for your business gives users a glimpse of what your business establishment contains within its premises. First impressions truly count, which means that users would be able to view can be a major deciding factor on whether they would be interested or not.

Observe proper Online Reputation Management – In today’s internet, online reviews can make or break a business, and greatly affects your searchability when it comes to users looking for top search results. This makes managing your online reviews on Google and Yelp is crucial and ensuring that you attain good scores lies in your business’s actual performance and weeding out negative reviews that only aim to attack or harm.

Geotargeted Keywords – Good local SEO means utilizing geotargeted keywords, which allows your business to show up in local SERPs quicker. This is important, whether your business is in a big city, or even a quiet town, as there will always be users that would search for establishments near their area. For good measure, having at least 2-3 geotargeted keywords (you can use city names, street names, and even country names) ensures that users have different ways to find your business within a certain area.

Key Takeaway

Augmented reality is a technology that will become even more present in the near future. With the rising number of mobile users and the rapid development of technology in general, more and more businesses and brands would be looking for a way to stand out in a very crowded digital world. Implementing local SEO strategies to prepare for augmented reality is one of these methods, as it ensures that your business has more opportunities to become visible for your users.

If you have questions and inquiries about SEO, leave a comment below and let’s talk.


Augmented Reality and Local SEO: Looking Into The Future was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Thursday, May 31, 2018

How to Choose the Right Domain Name

How to Choose the Right Domain Name

In SEO, all of the important elements must be aligned in order to generate positive results. Factors like finding the right keywords, creating quality content, and optimizing backlinks all help create a successful strategy. However, all of these can crumble down when one element does not meet the standard.

You might have quality content, and the right keywords, but this would all be put to waste when you do not have the right domain name. Surely, users will be able to find you through keywords, but not having the right domain can greatly affect the amount of traffic that you would be able to receive.

This is why choosing the right domain name matters a lot, as users would be able to identify your brand much better, which helps improve your visibility and authority. We at SEO Hacker ensure our clients that they get the right domain name for their brand, and here’s how you can do it too.

Make it easy to spell and remember

The goal of promotion and advertisement is having your audience remember your brand. This means it pays to have a catchy name that your audience would easily associate with your brand. The same must be applied to your domain name in order to instill a sense of familiarity.

When it comes to picking domain names, keeping it short and sweet is one of the best practices, as it makes it easy to remember. Have you ever encountered a situation wherein you wanted to know more about a brand, but can’t remember the name because it’s hard to remember? This is what you should avoid for your domain name. Sometimes, the simplest domain names are the most effective, and looking at famous examples makes this point even truer.

Apple

These famous examples include sites like Google (google.com), Apple (apple.com), and Facebook (facebook.com). While these brands have been recognized for the services that they have provided, their catchy and memorable names sure have helped in making them more memorable.

Keywords in domains

Since SEO is about making use of keywords to improve website visibility, using keywords in the domain name itself is also a viable strategy. We have had clients that use keywords as their domain name in order to make users find them faster. This approach works best for products and services, as it helps get users straight to what they would be looking for.

Having keywords as a domain name also boosts your search rankings much quicker, which helps increase website traffic, and create more conversions for the brand.

Area-specific domains

Other than keywords, using domain names that include your brand’s location is also effective, especially for local SEO strategies. This is another strategy that we use on the websites of our clients, as they have region-specific services that they want to target for their brand. Common types of locations that are used include cities, countries, and even provinces.

This not only helps generate more traffic within a certain area but also help users look for your business much better. With the upcoming Google Maps update, and the increasing number of users using voice search, expect area-specific domains to become more common in the near future.

No numbers and hyphens

While there are a good number of brands that include numbers in their names and are well-known for doing so, it is still advisable to avoid using them as much as possible. Going back to the first pointer of keeping the domain name memorable and easy to spell, adding numbers and hyphens would only add an unfamiliar element that can make it more challenging to remember.

Hyphen

Imagine having to remember a domain with a hyphen. One of the common problems would be that users tend to have a hard time trying to remember where the hyphen is placed in the domain. This type of confusion would end up with a lot of incorrectly typed domains, which would lead to less traffic. Eliminating these distracting elements would help make things more helpful for your users, as it makes recalling brand name domains much easier.

Social Media ready

You might have your website domain acquired and ready to use, however, can the same name be used for your brand’s social media accounts. If the answer is no, then you have a bit of a problem in your hands. Using similar domain name and social media handle helps push and reinforce your branding and makes it easier for social media users to look for these channels.

It is best to do some quick background research on your domain name and check if it’s available on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram before deciding on your domain of choice. Some social media handles and domains have copyrights and trademarks as well, which means using them can cause some legal ramifications that you definitely want to avoid.

Use tools like Ahrefs

Since some of the best domain names can also be keywords, one of the best places to look for possible domain names is on keyword research tools such as Ahrefs. This is one of the most effective keyword and content research tools available in the market, as it provides you with detailed statistical data on how well certain keywords perform.

Ahrefs Keyword Sample

You can use the same data to assess if your domain name can generate traffic as well. Assessing performance before purchasing the domain is crucial, and Ahrefs helps get the job done.

Key Takeaway

Choosing your domain name can be a very challenging task in itself. With so many websites present on the internet, the amount of domain name choices become fewer as each moment passes by. With these tips, you ensured that you would be able to find the domain that fits your branding and service, and generates the best amount of traffic.

If you have questions and inquiries about SEO, leave a comment below and let’s talk.


How to Choose the Right Domain Name was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

How Google’s Mobile-First Index Works: Important SEO Best Practices

SEO

With a Mobile-First philosophy, Google continues to update its search engine algorithms to meet the demands of technologically-savvy searchers. In fact, Google has rolled out a Mobile-First version of its search engine index–this is the massive catalog of data on every web page in existence.

With the index, Google will display relevant results to searchers. Previously, Google looked at web pages through a desktop searcher. Soon, Google will place the first priority on the mobile versions of each web pages and second in priority are the desktop versions.

In this scenario, mobile first means any page that can be correctly viewed on a mobile device. Since the mobile version is treated as the primary site for your business, it means businesses need to beef up content for this version. Here’s a complete guide to what this means.

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Challenges presented to SEO

With the Mobile-First indexing, Google may organize their index based on entities–this includes how keywords and language interact with entities. Google wants to understand the relationships between different ideas and their descriptions.

Here’s how Dave Davies, a columnist at Search Engine Journal, describes entities, “an entity is not simply a person, place or thing but also its characteristics. These characteristics are connected by relationships. If you read a patent, the entities are referred to as ‘nodes,’ and the relationships as ‘edges.’”

Think of the Knowledge Graph, and how Google organizes a hierarchy of relationships. It is not based on language, but, is rather a conceptual idea of understanding. And, entities can be depicted by feelings, concepts, keywords, pictures and more.

If Google’s updated index was based on entities, then it no longer has to search through languages and keywords. Google can, instead, look at entities and then move to varying languages as needed. Even domains and brands can be entities. For example, all of Google’s global offices and international websites can be grouped together and considered one entity.

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Taking it a step further, a brand’s entity could include videos, apps, podcasts, maps, and more. But, with search engine optimization, it’s keywords that matter. Yet, a more efficient form of search is to search by entity. Yet, entity indexing has been a modifier with Google for a while.

But, the Mobile-First indexing may mean that the index will be organized based on the Knowledge Graph–as opposed to the link graph. As they say, Google giveth and Google taketh away. Google may have created the link and keyword-building community, but they can also take it away. Entities are powerful because they offer a more efficient way to search, and they overcome language barriers.

With the Mobile-First indexing process, Google may evaluate content for its mobile functionality with the domain considered an entity. Old desktop content will remain on the index, but, won’t receive any value. Links will still play a role, but they won’t be as important for indexing. Over the long run, Google may replace the link graph with a version of a Real User Metric.

Instead of looking at how Mobile-First indexing will affect the crawling of your site, think about how the bot will render pages. If domains and URLs are simply facets of a domain entity, then crawlers can always look at deep links and regular web URLs. Google might even index CSS grid layouts.

Perhaps it will be like removing the paper version of documents and replacing them with their digital counterparts. With the digital version, you wouldn’t need multiple copies in multiple languages–just one version can be translated instantly.

Moving towards an AI-First strategy

The initial days of the Internet saw around 300 million people searching for basic queries and answers. Today, there are around 3 billion Internet users. Google CEO Sundar Pichai sees a logical transition from Mobile-First to AI-First. Google Assistant is already available, but that is only the beginning. Consider Amazon Echo, and self-driving cars.

In fact, all the tech giants, and startups are investing in AI. This is a world with universal computing, available on connected systems at home, in the car, and at work. Think of how smart appliances will affect search and so on.

You see, it won’t be just about devices–it will be about screens and the types of screens. Eventually, we’ll have holographic screens so, devices won’t really be needed either. How people access and interact with data will continue to evolve. And, your business should respond accordingly.

Cross-device data

Think of the impact Mobile-First indexing will have on the world. In the long run, it appears to be a push for multi-sensory data across a wide variety of devices that bridge the gap between on and offline resources. In terms of online shopping or mobile shopping, retailers might move from having to update their inventory every 24 hours to utilizing Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory processes.

Through product sensors, Google can pull information from many sources including driverless cars and home appliances. Through connected devices and Big Data, every company will become a tech company by default.

Think of AI, combined with voice search, cloud data, and more to create seamless shopping delivery for any product or service you can imagine. And, Google has been rumored to be working on a cross-device OS that supports both the Android OS and Chrome.

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Fully optimize your mobile site

When it comes to search, the objective is to have your entire site–fully available–for searchers to view. It can be a struggle to strip content that may clutter smaller screens. How do you decide what you can afford to strip down? Since Google announced its strategy to move forward with a Mobile-First index, the question remains how this action may affect the structure of the web.

In addition, stripped down content affects link structure–which, is what helps raise your rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPS). Furthermore, it is still unknown how Google will crawl with its bots. Will the bots also be Mobile-First? On the other hand, what if the bots are mobile-only?

In this context, it is critical to remember that Google isn’t eliminating the desktop index–they are just putting mobile first. And, it makes sense since most search traffic now comes from a mobile device. Google is in the business of ensuring high-quality and relevant results. As such, they have to meet the needs of the modern market.

At the same time, they want to find good content–and, that requires the desktop bots. Here is what Google wrote in their announcement:

If you are building a mobile version of your site, keep in mind that a functional desktop-oriented site can be better than a broken or incomplete mobile version of the site.

Google is stating that it’s better to have a fully functioning desktop than it is to have a broken mobile version.

In terms of links, this means that external links can be picked up in both the desktop and mobile site. If you have good, in-content links, they will show up in both the mobile and desktop crawl.

With Google’s index, the mobile version of your site will be the launch pad. For instance, when you view crawlbot traffic heading to your site, you should see an increase in the Smartphone Googlebot.

Even if you still only have a desktop version of your site, you can still be included in the index–but, the price is fully-optimized mobile sites may experience a rankings increase.

To put it another way, your mobile site may be considered the main version of your webpage. As a result, now is the time to fully optimize your mobile site.

Make sure your mobile site is equal to your desktop version

If you have implemented responsive design, then, Google’s Mobile-First change should not have a significant impact.

Yet, even with a responsive site, you want to verify that your mobile page speed, load times, and images offer a consistently good mobile experience. On the other hand, if you have a distinct mobile site, you should check for the following items:

  • Metadata–Make sure all titles and meta descriptions match your desktop.
  • Structured data–Include the same structured data markup. Use mobile versions of URLs shown in structured data.
  • Social metadata–Your mobile site should have the same social metadata.
  • App indexation–Make sure you’re using a verified mobile version.
  • Search Console verification–Add your mobile site.
  • Content–Add all your valuable content to your mobile site, and ensure it is crawlable and indexable.
  • Switchboard tags–Implement mobile switchboard tags.
  • Server capacity–Your servers should have the ability to handle a larger crawl rate.

Back in 2015 and 2016, released an updated called Mobilegeddon that was designed to make the web more mobile-friendly. But, for years, Google has been rewarding sites that offer full mobile compatibility. To Google, mobile-friendly means sites that can be viewed correctly on a mobile device.

Google wants to make sure that people can view your page nicely, along with all your content, without having to zoom or scroll down repeatedly. You should take a gander at Google’s mobile friendly test to see if any of your mobile pages can use an update.

Google wants your mobile site to convey the bare minimum of mobile-friendliness. Yet, with the Mobile-First index, it makes sense to go the extra mile.

When you consider the fact that most of the world’s information was created in the past several years, it makes Google’s efforts seem astounding in terms of cataloging all that information. Google wants the information, and, also, how to access that information. Yet, when you update your site, it is often the case that old content remains.

So, there is new content being added every second–to the index–and, this is on top of old content. At the same time, Google has warned us against removing old content so that archives remain for searchers.

Given the vast amounts of data, Google has to keep up by making their processes more efficient and applying more stringent standards to their algorithms. They use sorting signals such as micro-formats and Schema to help keep crawling simple.

What about the loss of the URL?

The Mobile-First strategy isn’t just about how things are admitted into the index, but how they are organized. The Mobile-First strategy seems to infer a future that isn’t as dependent on URLs for organization.

Google has consistently used metadata and URL structure to organize their index content. As a result, people too the one URL per piece of content strategy. Since the Internet is consumed by visiting URLs, this may change.

There are vast amounts of data that is online, but, cannot be conveyed through a browser–this is the data tied to Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT). Moreover, it is only accessible through APIs. But, Google wants the ability to use this information in their index and algorithms.

To illustrate, with Google Now on Tap, content is lifted through feeds and APIs–they don’t always have a URL. When the URL is no longer necessary, then apps can compete directly with websites. So, Google can then focus on mobile experiences, rendering, and speed. Google has also been emphasizing the use of things such as AMP and PWAs.

For example, AMP content lives on a URL generated and hosted by Google. The same is expected of Android Instant Apps. While Google did create the link-economy, it is now trying to distance themselves from it. Google has been moving towards XML feeds, Schema, and on-page structured markup.

Prepare for index launch

The top SEO companies have been preparing their clients for a couple years now. For those that still need to prepare for Mobile-First indexing, keep in mind that there will not be a new index or a separation between a mobile and desktop index. What Google is doing is changing how new content is added, with a Mobile-First perspective.

In June 2017, Gary Illyes stated it could take a few years before Google gets to an only mobile index. But, Google is already rewarding optimized mobile sites right now.

Here’s what you need to prepare for: Google rankings will be impacted if your mobile version is distinctly different from your desktop version or if it contains a lot less content. Since your mobile site will be treated as your primary site, it will affect how searchers view the value of your content and offerings.

Consider this: Google has consistently updated algorithms to place a priority on sites with mobile-exclusive functionality. These can include Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), and more. Although, there will be instances where the desktop version will be considered for rankings, such as if you don’t have a replicate mobile version of a specific page. Nonetheless, you should track search results for both mobile and desktop.

There just isn’t a guarantee that Google will crawl your desktop site once they’ve seen your mobile site. What’s the takeaway? Don’t launch your mobile site until it is completely ready for crawling and indexing.

A broken mobile site will hurt your rankings. Make sure your mobile version contains the same valuable and relevant content as your desktop site.

Where does Voice-First stand in a Mobile-First world?

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There isn’t any question that modes of human-machine interaction are expanding into the spoken word. As people grow more accustomed to the trend, it will soon traverse from personal and home use to business and commercial use.

If you love science fiction, you may notice it has often turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you want to view the future, just watch any of the recent sci-fi movies and television series airing today. Voice-based computer systems have been introduced into popular culture through TV shows in the 60s such as Star Trek and The Twilight Zone.

We’re still waiting on flying cars, but that’s another topic. Anyway, using our voices have become as commonplace as we’ve seen of the Hal 9000 in Space Odyssey or Jarvis of Iron Man. Right now, voice search is often used for actions such as:

  • Searching for something on the Internet
  • Getting directions
  • Calling/texting someone
  • Checking the weather
  • Scheduling a reminder
  • Setting an alarm
  • Viewing sports scores
  • Finding jokes
  • Playing music
  • Opening an app
  • Checking email

This is just the start. Voice is simply a natural extension of our physical-based outputs from typing and tapping. Consumers are wanting this option to expand in more complex ways. Once you use voice, you just want to keep using it. As a result, it’s quite easy to see the potential.

This is transforming the end user experience by executing more than one task, quickly. For example, voice-first is hands-free so, users can give commands to multiple systems within a matter of seconds–there is no need for a physical interaction.

The Voice-First movement used to be screen-first, but that has changed with Google Home, which has no visual display. Google Home relies completely on audio. Taking the form of smart speakers, these devices may also utilize cameras for visual input.

Now, think of Google Actions, which is a digital option for ranking. Google Actions are part of the Google Assistant software that lets you interact seamlessly with Google Home. Through cloud-hosted utilities, users are taken through a series of questions to determine what they need and want.

It’s a trend worth your attention because it seems that Google is doubling-down on these types of technologies. Google has certainly made a strong push to incorporate Google Home and Google Assistant into many of its suites.

There are over 400 million devices that have Google Assistant. Google Assistant and Google Home can also work with or without a screen. So, they are ideal for the IoT. Companies can also take Google Actions and incorporate it into their systems.

Google Assistant does conflate searches for actions or commands. And, AI can be programmed to understand the varying preferences, based on voice.

This means the system can comprehend various intents. With this in mind, Google’s Mobile-First index may use different algorithms for search implementing those with AI feedback and voice-first choices. Then, the entire search experience could change significantly. Each device will have a different AI response and search intent.

The index will have to change in response. You’ve probably already noticed how Google is moving away from no-click search results with answer boxes, visual representations, and even sounds. What’s the point of click-free search results? They can be read out loud with or without a screen.

And, they are truly Mobile-First. It also means that many queries can be given an increasing number of click-free results–something altogether different from the reliance on URLs over the years.

Traditional web results may still be in place, and Mobile-First may still utilize the same ranking factors, but mobile-first options will rank higher. Google seems to be pushing for a screen-free, eyes-free type of interaction.

In terms of Google Actions, it can be activated by simply using a registered keyword. This then launches a verbal dialogue. And, it seems to be a point of entry for the future with the IoT. A question will find answers, and a command executes an action.

For instance, you can find out if a store carries organic, locally-grown strawberries, then voice a command to have them delivered to your preferred address. With the right technology, you can ask a question then direct a related action.

Since Google has been focusing their research and development on AI and the IoT, it makes sense that this would be where the push is directed. In January 2018, Google’s CEO said that AI is more innovative than electricity. Google had already integrated AI into Google Now-on-Tap.

Then, through entity understanding, these technologies can determine a user has a query or wants to take an action. Perhaps, Mobile-First indexing will place different ranking factors on the type of query and device. Google Assistant doesn’t need a screen to work. Think of results that are compatible with the technologies used.

A screen-free voice query would not need a URL. When using voice, people expect a quick response. Of course, voice search isn’t at the stages where it would be useful for writing an epic novel, and performing all the necessary research, but it will get there.

Nonetheless, voice searchers don’t want to hear about a long list of URLs. So, Google has started to offer more results in the form of questions and answers. This helps to increase the potential to have a conversation.

Take a look at Google Maps, and you’ll see the “business finder” already offers interactive questions and answers. There are many “yes” or “no” and “multiple choice” answers. And, multiple-choice is a good fit for AI. Yet, Google will also include more Featured Snippets that show several snippets at once.

You can then select the most appropriate snippet based on your query. The more you play with snippets, the better the AI can organize your options based on your previous clicks–incorporating machine learning.

The more you interact with Google, the better your results will be. Just as mobile phones can index your data such as purchases, travel, meetings, and more. With AI, personalization will increase dramatically. More personalization makes it difficult to predict how rankings may change from one day to the next.

On the other hand, if you have strict privacy settings, then accurate results may not come as quickly. Nonetheless, this makes it difficult to grasp in terms of SEO. Voice-first can truly change the dynamics with intuit meaning and personalization.

To illustrate, stressed words can show intent. Google would provide cards of different feeds, and the user chooses the card/feed of their preference. The AI system then catalogs those choices for future reference. It feels similar to the knowledge graph method of organization with hierarchies.

With the knowledge graph, you can extend your voice query to a conversation based on relationships to your feed choices. Say you want to learn more about cats, then you are sent a series of verbal prompts and perhaps receive this question, “Would you like to learn more about orange American tabbies, or something else?” The prompts and voice-only search will take you down a relational path to get the information you need.

Think of designing your content to meet the needs of voice-first devices. The removal of screens makes these devices appear almost magical.

In a decade, it’s safe to assume that over half of all computer-based interactions will be voice-first. How will you transition your SEO, business, advertising, and product models?

Get information straight from Google

Since Google designs their index, it is important to make your mobile updates based on Google’s guidelines. The rollout will continue in batches, some larger than others. During this time, many assumptions will be made regarding what types of features your mobile site needs to have and what to eliminate.

It’s your site and your decisions but always refer to Google before making any changes. Google made the move because, in 2015, more searches were made on mobile–including the U.S. and Japan. When searchers type in a query, Google needs to provide results fast.

To illustrate, many ask about rel=canonical/switchboard tags. According to Google, you should leave them as is.

The Internet has billions of pages, searching through every single one would be too slow. As a result, Google uses web crawlers to view the database or index. Google creates the index by saving pages. Previously, the index was tailored for the desktop. Now, it will cater to mobile.

Make sure your site is responsive

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To get through this indexing change as successfully as possible, the recommendation is to use responsive web design. It is a design that implements one model for both your desktop and mobile site that will fit almost any device screen. It also removes the obstacle of requiring searchers to type m. before your site’s URL.

The name “responsive” means the site automatically responds to a different screen size and configures its content to function seamlessly. It changes the layout to meet mobile usage. Since you are now aware of Google’s Mobile-First indexing change, the time to use responsive design is now. Take a look at the statistics for your mobile viewers, vs. your desktop viewers, and you won’t have a more convincing reason to switch to responsive design.

Then, take a look at your competitors’ sites on multiple devices. Are they easy to navigate? Updating your site with responsive design isn’t outrageously difficult. You either hire a web designer with responsive design experience–which, most have. Or, you can use a web hosting service that lets you create a responsively designed site on your own.

There are also responsive templates you can purchase through sites such as WordPress. There isn’t any excuse not to go responsive. While Google isn’t going to immediately purge your heavily-indexed desktop site, having a matching mobile site will ensure your pages continue to rank well.

Add to that dynamic serving where the server responds with varying HTML and CSS depending on the request, and this is all on the same URL. With dynamic serving, you get the best of both worlds. All you need is one URL for all devices.

Plus, consider the time savings you would accumulate when you no longer have to manage two completely different sites. If your site is responsive, you’re ready. And, Google may force all web pages to go responsive anyway.

URLs may not be the best for indexing

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote this in his 2016 Founders Letter, “We will move from mobile first to an AI first world.” Since then, he has restated this sentiment several times. So, think of AI in terms of SEO. AI requires the processing of relationships and content. Chatbots are powered by AI. And, they don’t require a website to get the answers they need.

In fact, elements of AI can be plugged into any website or mobile app. In addition, AI can be incorporated into the Internet of Things (IoT). As Googles continues to develop the best AI systems in the world, the need to have access to big data in real time.

What does this mean for URLs? It means that URLs are holding that process back. Since websites have become much more sophisticated over the first days of the Internet, Google has had to focus more on user experience and the content offerings.

Since the web continues to grow at an astronomical pace, reliance on URLs becomes more inefficient. On the other hand, Google has been able to use cloud-computing to host pages of databases–this is much more cost-efficient than crawling URLs.

Google can just tap into APIs, XML feeds, ServiceWorkers, and JSON-LD feeds. Add to these facts, the prevalence of Google Home and Amazon Echo usage–these devices don’t have browsers and sometimes, they don’t have screens. Google has to embrace all types of devices in the way it presents results.

Consider developing a mobile app

If you want to dive headfirst into Google’s Mobile-First indexing strategy, then you might as well create a mobile app for your site. While this means managing two sites, there may also be a time when Google focuses on app streaming and goes “mobile-only.” Might as well get a head start.

You might have already noticed the number of mobile users is much larger than desktop users. Given that metric, your app stores are also filled to the brim with apps. Furthermore, research has shown that many users prefer mobile apps to mobile websites.

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When going the mobile app route, think of it in terms of the user experience. Since Google has been moving towards placing a prominence on user experience, then a mobile app offers a more personalized route.

Apps can be designed to provide geography-specific content in addition to monitoring user engagement and offering settings customizable based on user preferences. So, every user can create an experience unique to their needs. This is different from a responsive site that is optimized for mobile, but, may not offer as many personalized options.

Then, there is the notifications tool where you no longer have to use email to reach your customers–you still should, but you now have another avenue of communication through mobile app notifications.

You have either push or in-app notifications. This is one of the many reasons why so many businesses are making the move towards creating a mobile app. In-app notifications are only viewed when a user opens the app–so, you already have their attention.

Not to mention, apps can work even in offline mode–they still provide users with basic functionality, which is different from websites that need an Internet connection. And, there aren’t any restrictions such as a “back” or “refresh” button. Apps don’t really need to be refreshed. Users simply “tap,” or “swipe,” to get what they want.

The mobile app also offers a different branding experience. Your company can experiment with new styles and features or let your users customize the appearance based on their liking–this goes back to a positive user experience. And, keeping in line with Google’s Mobile-First indexing strategy, mobile users spend 86% of their time on mobile apps.

The mobile app gives enhanced brand presence for your business. Even when users aren’t actively engaged with your app, the icon serves as a small advertisement on their device screen. Plus, mobile apps can be designed to work a lot faster than a mobile website. Since data is often stored on the mobile devices, retrieval is much faster. Users enjoy faster load and access times. And, Google will notice.

Optimize your mobile check out process

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To increase conversions, your mobile site must be optimized for quick and easy checkout. Today, billions of dollars are spent on mobile e-commerce. As it stands, to improve their ecommerce SEO, every company must scrutinize their mobile checkout process. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Eliminate pinch and zoom. This seems pretty straightforward. The days of customers accepting “pinch and zoom” activities are over. You can expect more bounces and cart abandonment if your customers have to pinch and zoom their way through the checkout process.
  2. Make the checkout process easy. Even in the age of the Internet, customers still want to feel safe when purchasing something online or through a mobile app. One way to make them feel more secure about the process is to simply give them what they need.

Use only short forms, and, make it easy to check out–in just a couple of taps. The last thing you want is for customers to quit when they’ve almost completed the process.

  1. Incorporate security seals. Prove that you have implemented adequate security controls to keep financial data safe. With cyber-theft at an all-time-high, mobile customers will patronize sites that show security icons at checkout.

These security icons help to build trust, and trust leads to conversions. You can also incorporate credit card logos from global brands such as Visa, Amex, and Mastercard–as long as it doesn’t clutter your mobile space.

  1. Allow your users to check out as guests. You’ll get more conversions if you let people check out anonymously. There are many shoppers who don’t want to submit an email address and password, but, would still like to purchase your products or services. These people have been burned by other companies who have either spammed their inbox or sold their information to third parties.

So, give them the option to checkout without having to register. This speeds up the process, especially on a mobile device. They can always register later, at their convenience. If they like your products, they will usually end up registering anyway.

  1. Make your buttons readable. Ensure that your checkout buttons are readable and easy to tap. Also, space them well so that customers won’t accidentally tap on the wrong button.
  2. Eliminate pop-ups during checkout. Everyone hates popups. Don’t let them stand in the way of making another sale.

Take a look at how Google incorporates Google Wallet as a cross-device payment system. It is secure on any device too. It can hold multiple payment options from credit cards to PayPal. It can also be used for instant payments to services such as Netflix, and a variety of mobile apps.

Also, Google Home and Google Assistant offer cross-device shopping experiences both within and outside the Google world. All it takes is a voice command to make a purchase. This offers a secure and seamless shopping experience–as your checkout experience should be.

It’s important to adapt to the evolving landscape of this space. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; just rely on Google’s existing systems.

Use accordion menus to save space

An accordion menu expands to show hidden information. As a result, mobile sites can include much more content without taking up more space.

In the past, many worried that Google will penalize their site for hidden content–with the Mobile-First indexing strategy that will no longer be the case for mobile sites. The reason is Google wants the mobile site to include as much valuable content as possible–that can be difficult when device screens are smaller.

So, the accordion design element can help to implement more content without displaying too much content all at once. The user gets to decide what they want to view. They also help to prevent mobile sites with too much information, that require users to keep scrolling. Users don’t want to interact with mobile sites that display too many disparate and unrelated pieces of content.

Moreover, they don’t want to scroll to the bottom of the page just to get the answer to a question. Instead, the accordion design element tells users exactly what the site is about and gives them easy access. Plus, they also function as section headings.

By condensing information, in limited spaces, mobile sites can enhance the user experience and please Google at the same time. By using jump links, and persistent accordion headings, mobile sites can effectively keep users engaged with the site. While accordion menus don’t work for every mobile site, they can work if you need to condense a lot of content.

Don’t even think about using Flash

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Google simply prefers HTLM5. In fact, Google has been phasing out support for Flash for a while. In the past, Flash has worked for displaying rich media. But, HTLM5 offers lower power use with quicker load times. So, don’t even think about using Flash on your sites.

What about Java?

Java has massive open source support, with many libraries that make it easy to access what you need in terms of development. Plus, it offers protections for potential issues that come with native code such as bad pointer usage and memory leaks.

Furthermore, Java gives you the ability to create sandbox applications with heightened security. While many platforms decline after a while, it seems that Java continues to be a premier software and mobile app platform. It is already used substantially in big data, mobile, enterprise applications, and more. In addition, the number one platform in the world is Google’s Android platform.

And, many developers use Java to build Android apps. As apps move to smart and connected devices such as TVs, and refrigerators, you’ll notice they use Java too. Java’s current iteration also features JSON APIs, modularity, and more.

You also get support for the latest Web standards and the cloud. It appears to be a good language to use for a mobile-first outlook.

Should I follow the Web AMPs trend?

Launched in February 2016, web AMPs (accelerated mobile pages) are the latest and greatest in terms of web development. You get a remarkable UI with seamless in-app browsing. AMP results also tend to rank at the top of the page.

Google created AMPs to improve load times, rendering and more. In fact, these AMPs can be rendered either in the browser or in WebViews. This open-source design was built to improve mobile sites.

As a result, if you are seeing large amounts of traffic–switching to AMP will improve performance, as well as easing the load on your servers. Furthermore, it enhances the user experience since it provides faster loading times. So, you can achieve lower bounce rates and better engagement.

These are also independent documents as opposed to stores of metadata. There isn’t anything you can compare an AMP to anything since AMP does not have a dedicated client, besides the browser. It is basically a set of specifications and technologies infused into this product.

It is also a lighter version of HTML cached on Google’s cache. According to the AMP Project website, over 1,000 AMP articles are published each day and return mobile users have gone up from 51% to 63%. If an increasing number of your visitors are coming from mobile sites, then you should switch to AMP.

With regard to SEO buzz, AMPs have gone further than Facebook’s Instant Articles. When you consider that 53% of web pages are abandoned when they take over three seconds to load, it makes sense. In fact, conversions can go down by up to 7% with just a one-second delay in load time.

AMPs load your pages 4X faster. Also, because it is open source, it is consistently updated. Moreover, it can reduce document size. What’s most important? Google encourages publishers to use AMP.

Because of its speed, you will notice an improvement in your SERPs ranking. You’ll also achieve a better Google Page Speed Insights score. Since Google is on the path of Mobile-First indexing, then now is the time to get your mobile site in order.

PWAs vs. AMPs

To be clear, AMPs are fast-loading web pages built for mobile. Progressive web apps (PWAs), are mobile web pages that offer an app-like experience. So, you can access content while offline and even send push notifications. PWAs also offer fast loading times, and, are reliable regardless of Internet connection.

You can access both AMPs and PWAs via URLs. Some say PWAs may replace the standard mobile app. It’s highly possible since a PWA offers the benefits of a mobile page an app all at once. You can also manage all of it together.

So, why do we have mobile apps if we now have PWAs? Well, there is the ServiceWorker, which is JavaScript that can run outside of your webpage. It runs even when your browser isn’t up. In the past, web apps only worked with a live network.

The ServiceWorker has two parts, an app shell that controls the behaviors of the display and the part that controls what elements are cached in the mobile device’s local storage.

Thanks to the ServiceWorker, it can work offline and execute push notifications. Also, PWAs offer the power of an app without the need for installation. Not to mention, Google has already stated they will automatically index PWAs in their App store.

Google has struggled with indexing and crawling native app content. For starters, it’s already difficult with Android apps and even more difficult with iOS apps. As a result, Google uses APIs to translate the content. In addition, Google has to align web content with app content.

Here’s the kicker: The majority of native apps can be switched over to become PWAs. When a website has an app manifest, (which hosts the app icon), and a ServiceWorker, it is just like a PWA. The next steps are just to make modifications in design and to incorporate app behaviors.

The only difference is, while designing your PWA, it is crucial to think like a mobile developer. With PWAs, you get a seamless experience on any device that doesn’t require app-specific programming.

Plus, PWAs can store app-states in the cloud so that users can pick up where they left off on any device. Google Assistant has also improved its ability to interact with PWAs. Moreover, PWAs require less storage space, so that mobile devices won’t be drained.

So, regardless of OS, PWAs can work on more devices than other design types. They can be displayed on the desktop and mobile, including the iPhone. Then, there is the fact that Google has been switching many of their basic Android apps such as YouTube, Contacts, and News into PWAs. This seems to be a signal.

What you can do is use both the PWA and an AMP. You start the user with an AMP page. On the next click, they can then be taken to your PWA. How is that possible? Google introduced <amp-install-serviceworker>. Blending the two together is what Google calls PWAMPs.

Final thought

SEO is important to your business,  but don’t freak out. The information and tactics above will help with your preparation for Google’s continued Mobile-First rollout. For now, place a priority on your mobile experience. Nonetheless, Google consistently makes frequent changes. We’ll keep you up to date with the latest resources to ensure you’re always one step ahead.


How Google’s Mobile-First Index Works: Important SEO Best Practices was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing