Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages

AMP: What You Should Know About Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages What The Heck Are They?

Imagine your website page being displayed on a mobile device in its entire form. What AMP does is strip back some of the elements of your website page to show a clean, fast loading lite version of your web page. Once you add AMP to your website, the display will show as the bare essentials on a mobile device.

AMP reduces load times and the functions that happen on the backend of a website. Lowering server requests by limiting tags, lazy loading and lazy rendering and Streamlining the CSS and JS components. In short it’s an HTML page designed to be lightweight and  re-designs your web pages to re-create really streamlined pages that are easy to use and don’t keep the browser waiting.

Accelerated Mobile Pages are also known as AMP

Above is a short summary of accelerated mobile pages.

Before we get into this it might help if I give you a demo of what an AMP page looks like on your mobile device.

enter this into your browser on your mobile then type in a website to see what an AMP looks like. AMP Page demo.

AMP is built thanks to a deep collaboration with thousands of developers, publishers and websites, distribution platforms and tech companies. More than 1.5B AMP pages have been published to date and 100+ leading analytics, ad tech and CMS providers support the AMP format.

Accelerated Mobile Pages and Facebook Instant Articles

I know you have been hit with the “Mobile Optimise” for better rankings and online UX before and now there is AMP, but AMP is here for the long term with more and more users taking to mobile browsing every day the future is headed towards mobile search.The AMP project focus is aimed to make people’s experience on the mobile web not only faster, but an overall smoother experience by removing the clutter from web pages to show the main focus content.

Facebook is well known for being a trend setter but being edged out by Google on Instant articles it has joined the race launching Facebook Instant Article’s to improve its UX with it’s millions strong mobile user audience hungry for information daily harnessing this new publishing solution makes sense for them to give their audience what they want.

Facebook Instant Articles is another way for publishers to create faster interactive articles for user satisfaction streamlining the most popular news on the web is a huge business and in the famous words of Ricky Bobby “if you’re not first you’re last!” Brands are scrambling to implement the new solution looking at getting the upper hand on competition. 

Higher Performance and Engagement When You Use AMP.

seamless-amplified-pages-amp

What AMP Will Provide For Your Website?

The AMP project is an open source effort spearheaded by juggernauts Google & Twitter.

to speed up our mobile web experience. Even though many websites today are mobile-friendly, they still tend to be very sluggish, and clunky, and that’s where AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) comes in. 

  • Provide A Better Browsing Experience
  • Provide a Clean Display
  • Loads Very Fast
  • Carousel Display in Search Results

In order to provide these improvements, on the mobile display some features your website has will be stripped back to the bare basics. Your website will be shown as the lite version so not every function will activate.

Flexibility and Results

The ability for publishers & advertisers to have some input and control on how to present their content and what technology vendors to use, can make a noticeable impact on the the way media is shared across the web. The faster load times and cleaner displays mean better access and simplified consumption of information.

Improvements for advertisers is that web pages and ads published in the AMP open-source format load near instantly. These instant load times are giving users a smooth, more engaging experience on mobile and desktop. When the website is clunky and hard to read the user is more likely to leave that website.

The main benefits of having AMP on your site is that it benefits both users and your website because AMP provides a faster more streamlined experience to your content, which means it makes it easier to read your content.

Even though Google hasn’t come out to say it helps search rankings for your website yet, we are confident that it will soon be a ranking factor as AMP only helps improve a user’s experience, and makes it easier to get access to content. Also if you haven’t noticed, AMP posts appear in the carousel first above the other stories.

Google was the early adopter and since many social media and news platforms have joined the accelerated mobile pages revolution — kind of in response to projects like the Facebook Instant Articles project from Facebook and Apple News and many more popping up daily. This is designed to be open source, and there are all kinds of elements of openness to the project when you list as open source.

Will Accelerated Mobile Pages Affect My Google Listings?

Currently Mobile search results the answer is YES, on desktop search listings the answer is NO. The aim of accelerated mobile pages is to provide a more lightweight mobile browsing experience and focusing on mobile search.  So let’s talk a little bit about how this might actually show up in search results. So first of all, what we know at the moment is it’s looking like it’s mobile only. It’s right there in the name, Accelerated Mobile Pages and should not impact the desktop search listings or browsing experience. ,

One noticeable change I’ve noticed, is news publisher’s and heavy content producer’s showing up in a carousel above the regular listings. It appears as if Google is giving them priority over other results. The carousel moves from right to left and vice versa with a swipe function either way moving through results. If you click on one of these it opens in an expended view providing more detail and is very smooth in appearance.

Some Results Since AMP Rollout That We Have Seen:

  • Some PPC Ads Are Showing As AMP
  • AMP Is For Mobile Only Not Desktop
  • AMP Displays A Carousel For Top Results

The looming mobile first index will have a benefit for AMP verified websites. Google announced that they are going to use a mobile first index. This means that they are moving towards user first search terms. Mobile friendly and optimised websites will be extremely important for the future of search. We noticed this as it happened and began rolling out Mobile SEO services helping clients prepare for this new way Google is moving towards.

It is actually taking place where some paid advertising would normally be positioned for some terms. Not all Adwords ads are showing as AMP but with the rollout the kinks are still being smoothed over. The question could be asked will there be paid AMP search results? and what placement will they take and the benefits and so on for having these over generic paid ads.

Below is a brief demo of AMP in Google search.

Accelerated-mobile-pages-demo-image-showcase

 

What makes AMP so fast?

The removal of unnecessary items, not loading images until they are near view using a streamlined version of CSS and removing some HTML tags. The pure reader satisfaction focus is increased readability without pop ups and opt ins, page loading times, and a more slimline design.

Look to the future with the potential for a built in javascript library built into some of the more popular operating systems potentially removing the need for more load times to access this making sites even faster to load. There will be a time that your content may be stored on the browser so the need to “fetch” data is made redundant, This may be some time away but it is a direction that is possible with the advancement in browsing and web use we want it fast we want it now and being able to provide that is the goal for smart marketers.

How do I add AMP to my website?

If you have a website that uses WordPress as its CMS , the easiest way to get started is by simply installing one the following plugins both are very good to use.

This plugin allows posts on your site to become both AMP pages, and compatible with Facebook Instant articles.

Google is not the only company looking to add to Instant articles see below for Facebook Instant Article’s. This trend for faster and better will continue as our technology and consumer habits shift.

Facebook’s Instant Articles The Social AMP Alternative.

For Facebook Instant Articles, you will have to first sign up your page in order to have it enabled for your posts right here.

Marketing online is changing to ease of access the here and now, Amazon prime order now delivered in 8 hours or less.attract and retain consumer interest by providing amazing content that not only looks nice but loads fast for your mobile audience

Conclusion

Mobile technology and web browsers are only going to increase in advanced features, think virtual reality and augmented reality.  Adapting to consumer trends is smart and your business should consider moving towards mobile first marketing.

Retain customers and attract new customers by being ready for these types of changes. Think Video Ezy and Block buster in the age of Netflix and Stan, they couldn’t adjust and now they are being left behind.

Do these three things to prepare your website:

  1. Prepare Your Website For AMP
  2. Use A AMP Plugin (WordPress)
  3. Validate Your AMP markup with this free tool.

Start by getting familiar with AMP and how it works across devices. Thi sis a simple process and you should not have to change to much on your website. Take the first step forward and understand why you need to consider mobile viewing and why AMP will help you supercharge your website views.

Keep up to date with the AMP project right here to see what the coming months look like for the project.

Further reading on AMP

Increase Traffic to your Website

Increase Traffic to your Website

How You Can Increase Traffic To Your Website.

Website traffic every website owner wants this every business owner should want this but are they willing to do the work to get the results? 5 out of 10 business owners can and do.

Are you one of those 5 that are not doing what’s needed to grow your website traffic? Shame on you.

To get traffic you might hire an SEO consultant or current trend “digital marketer” to help grow your organic visitors to your website great you have made a good start in this process.

website-traffic-increases-from-onpage-optimisation

WARNING if you are looking for an instant increase right away SEO is not about instant gains it’s a long term strategy, for instant You should look into Pay per click (PPC) where you pay for advertising space on search results that show your allocated paid keywords and phrases.

The best growth strategy involves PPC alongside SEO and once the SEO has started taking traction you turn off or reduce the PPC ad spend. Read more here
Steps to increase website traffic.

Produce Targeted Content 

Produce content that answers questions that your particular customer audience might ask

about your product or services

About a specific product or service

About your industry

About your company standards

About your company

About your processes

About your equipment or ingredients

And so on.

You should be answering questions with your content and advising of changes, updates and upcoming events and industry information. There is someone out there searching for your product or service and before they purchase they want to know more about who they are buying from, answer these questions see a rise in organic traffic.

Competitions and Quiz campaigns

Create competitions where you give away 10 products or a new TV or industry related items in order for your social followers to enter a competition. You can set additional rules like 1 entry per person that drives people to enter their partner their sister or Friends in order to win, people want to win and something for nothing is always a motivator for this almost viral social behaviour.

The cost of a $600 TV verse signing up 400 new people to your email list, verse making 10 new sales and driving 1000 people to your website and even more to your social media business page to me it’s a positive cost that will return more than $600 and continue to drive organic visitors to your website.

Quiz campaigns

The latest in viral social and working extremely well with online retail is running a quiz to your social media following asking industry related or celebrity questions to get responses and optional offering a prize for the winner and runner up.

Again this drives people to know who this company is and what do they offer people will visit your site and interact with your campaign in order to win.

The prizes don’t need to be over the top but high interest in the prize needs to maintained for the campaign to succeed.

Extend Your Brand Reach

Stretch your brands reach by speaking at industry and community events, offer to guest post on industry or community blogs, websites, social media business pages. Get your brand and face of the company out there be seen be heard.

The more eyes you have on your brand the more exposure the more people will be searching online for your brand that they read about or saw at an event that may not convert to customers then and there but they know your brand name they know your face and they know where to find you.

Authority 

Your brand should be the authority in its space so that people interested in buying or people interested in learning about what you do Will listen to your brands voice. Establishing authority can be time consuming but once established it takes little work to maintain and will continue to drive people to your website again and again.

I’m in a very noisy space with marketing and especially online marketing there’s a lot of noise in this space, I carve my own niche and do what I know works and what I do best. People follow comment and engage at their own pace and I’m continually getting requests to help

Small business owners

Startup businesses

Other marketers

It’s no surprise that other marketers have approached me for requests to help I market towards two types 1 business owners 2 people in my industry. I built authority in my space while not the most known sought after web mechanic in the space I have helped countless people in forums on coaching sessions overcome problems.

I made helpful free comments on a forum for some people having problems with Google my business accounts I listed answers and helpful Links for them to fix the issues. Over the next week I had a few emails from people on that forum that liked my reply and followed me to my website and liked what I was about and I now coach them in DIY SEO, just an example of authority building in your industry.

Topical Link Building

Keeping links from your site and links back to your site as topic related as possible will be one way to increase your trust, rankings and organic traffic ten fold.

Google has made changes to its penalty algorithm lately to penalise spammy non relative links and linking that does not provide value in terms of going from a web page about web design to A web page about Bonner pills isn’t really topical Where as that web design page could of linked to latest WordPress theme selections for a more topical Link.

When you are linking to relevant information the Google spiders crawl

Your page and the page you link to for relevancy to the search term and theme of the web page do making topical related links can only benefit your organic search results for the good.

Optimise your Website for Traffic

One of the big drawbacks of having a very interactive and unique web design is the draw that has on resources and ultimately the page load speed in turn this affects the users experience as you may know a slow loading web page is not a web page you stay on for longer than 2 seconds any longer and you have lost a visitor and potential sale.

website-optimisation-performance-booster

 

Optimise your website for these key elements

1. Mobile friendly & Responsive Design

2. OnPage Optimisation

3. Page Load Speed (mobile & desktop)

4. AMP accelerated mobile pages

5. Schema Markup

6. If Service Based Add Local Search Keywords and Phrases

7. Use Buyer Intent Keywords

 

Testing for one of these is great but if we test and optimise for all then we have your website primed for that wave of traffic you will be getting from implementing the steps above.
You ideally want a website that’s fast loading, shows up with all the correct business information in the search results, looks great on mobile or iPad, loads fast on mobile, looks amazing and is easy on the eye.

Combining all methods is a sure fire way to increase organic traffic to your website.

Next you need to start thinking about how to convert them from visitor traffic to customer once you have them on your site, driving more traffic to your website is good for business but you should really consider the conversion of traffic into customer

for increased growth and using this for creating a solid customer acquisition funnel allowing you to continually make sales.

I hope you found this useful if you have methods not listed feel free to add in the comments for readers.

 

2 Routine Hacks for Web Designers

2 Routine Hacks for Web Designers

Web Design Routine Hacks

Web designers do you find yourself buried in a website design when your clients call? Do you leave the design to answer calls then forget what you were working on?
It’s happened to me and i hate being deeply focused on the design to leave it and tend to another task or phone call.
I figured out early on that I was going to make excellent websites I would need unbroken concentration, and if I was going to grow my business I had to be answering calls and actively engaging with people during the business hours and not glued to working on a website

So I came up with a separation of tasks and below I’ve listed the 2 hacks for web designers that have helped me grow my business and create beautifully designed and functional websites.

Number 1 Time Your Web Designs

Work on websites at night without distraction.

Design web pages at night when the chances of being interrupted are much less and you can have full attention on your project without distraction.

 

2 Routine Hacks for Web Designers 1

 

If you can put it off until the evening this will in my experience allow for more productivity and concentrated effort, without being pulled away to answer a phone or other tasks.
My own personal twist 🙂 I usually start web design from 7pm to 11pm I’d like  to say 1-pm is the latest but I’m a bit more of a workaholic and can go until the early hours of the morning if I have a big job on , I start out with the design layout in front me then the next essential thing I need is some tunes I’ll start out with some fat Freddy’s drop and then move onto a random playlist the later I go.

BUT! I also have a real taste for some old smooth sounds and the Commodores just had to get a mention for this classic “Nightshift” how fitting take a moment to enjoy this great track.

 

Number 2 Client Web Design Effectively

Engage with clients and leads during business hours.

The second hack is to handle your client work, client interviewing and lead research during the day and leave the tasks that can be done without human interaction until later on in the evening as covered in number 1.
Servicing clients, answering clients and leads is crucial in growing your business and maintaining your current business and needs human interaction either phone calls, email or in person meetings and should be done between business hours.

My twist on this involves a rough start in the office around 8/9am after my morning walk I get to it checking stats, lead forms, analytics and lastly emails then I get to work on any immediate deliverables usually preset the night before so I know what to complete.

SEO-agency-SEO-firm-SEO-search-engiine

My mid day routine is a break around 1/2pm either of those to go to the gym or if I didn’t get to walk as I had been to the gym in the morning I’ll switch the two so I’ve had enough exercise and then get back to work for the afternoon rechecking emails and working on client sites, checking profiles and rounding off the day.  I then take another break around 5pm for dinner prep and house chores and then it’s the end of my work day or I’ll be back in to hit the web design later on depending on volume of work.

These could be hacks they could just be smart processes i was told at a early point in my career “work smarter not harder”and it’s up to you if you implement a similar strategy or not

Business productivity hacks are a great way to increase your intake of new clients and also to deliver to existing clients without living on the computer.

It’s important to me I don’t find myself chained to the computer and that I get to walk outdoors as often as I can. Saying that see the featured image for the post? yes thats me on many an occasion asleep at the computer getting it done and falling flat on the keyboard doing what I enjoy, Not everyone gets to do what they love for work so I’m grateful everyday for what I get paid top do for people.

I hope this helps my fellow web designers.

What are your favourite web design productivity hacks? Hit me in the comments section below.

Website Tune-Ups

Website Tune-Ups

Optimise your Website with a Web Mechanic Tune up!

Website tune-ups are a regular part of what we do and the requests for tune ups differs depending on what the clients goals are. We can measure the technical and SEO requirements by running the website through our website SEO auditor

Some examples we have complied are:

  • speed and performance add AMP
  • optimise for mobile view
  • made responsive
  • optimise for UX/UI
  • optimise for conversions

 

These are the main requests we get, by no means are they the only requests to optimise for.

 

Website Tune-Ups 3

Websites need tune-ups

Why speed test and what is AMP?

If your web site loads longer than 2/3 seconds you will find visitors turn into ghosts no one wants to waste time watching a loading screen it’s not an option to have a slow loading website, one way to decrease load time is to include optimising for AMP which stands for accelerated mobile page save loads only what the web page needs with no fat attached just the barebones and a very decreased size for images this is extremely fast.

The work put into AMP development has been swift, collaborative and continually improving see a brief project cycle here at GitHub.

Does mobile view matter?

Yes, it matters a great deal consider 60% of web traffic is now on mobile device where two years ago It was mainly desktop, we can clearly see a trend towards mobile search.

What does responsive mean?

Responsive viewing is when the website adjusts to the device it’s being viewed on, so for instance the website is viewed by an iPad screen this means the website displays best for iPad viewing. The responsiveness covers desktop, mobile, tablet and other screen shapes and sizes showing the best sized screen to each display type.  To decide if you should tune up your web design in a responsive fashion you need to consider what are your visitors using to view your website? is it an iPad, a Mobile device, a laptop or a desktop computer and then decide if changing to responsive design is what your business website needs.

Understanding what responsive design is can be summarised by the image below.

content-is-like-water-responsive-web-design-is-the-same

What is UX?

UX is the abbreviation of user experience and the affect changes to design and function have on a user experiencing the changes to layout function and design of a example website where they can have a positive UX or a negative UX and by saying they had a negative UX means they had problems using a button to open a new window or a menu did not take them to a target page.

What does UI mean?

UI is short for user interface a common abbreviation for web and software designers when describing the dashboard interface of  new software or a new web design referring to the end result a user gets to see and interact with being the user interface.

Is it better to optimise for UX or UI?

This is entirely your decision and is dependant on your goals for your website if you want to read a recent topical discussion about the debate of what is better for UX vs UI here is a very simple to digest but very explanatory article, we feel UX is more important but this is more tied into our business goals and the services we provide being a web design and search marketing company if we were more focused on for example SaaS selling software then we would be more inclined to optimise for UI.

How do you optimise for conversion?

To optimise a website for conversion several things need to be considered, the offer being used as the sale pitch, the UX and UI of the website, the target audience are they online buyers and do they want pretty pictures or bulk information? The question needs to be asked, how is the opt in form and call to action set up?there are many factors and when you have them in place you are on the way to improving your customer base instantly.

One immediate improvement you could make is on product or services pages is to remove all social profile icons and links leading away from the page, imagine you are on a product page and there are several red, blue and assorted coloured circles on the page and knowing how attention  focused we all are these represent escapes, instant dopamine hits to the system and in the mind they are social candy you have to click them to see where they go or the latest updates on your newsfeed and this leads to distraction a big NO! on a sales page you need focus and you need tunnel vision for conversion success.

The same can be said for landing pages used on paid search campaigns we often see companies that spend thousands of dollers advertising on Google or social media have a huge budget for adverts that when a user clicks on the ad the advert takes them to a home page or a blog post where there are options, page tabs, previously mentioned social icon buttons and ways they can navigate away fro the sale, to maximise conversion you should create a specific landing page for that advert and have no distractions on that page so that the user really only has two options buy or not buy, providing you have included enough pre qualifying information about the product or service leading into the advert or on the advert to make the user “buy now” you could if you have not is to have a section about the pain and the benefit to provide that extra justification to the user before you lead them to your buy button.

When you combine two or more of these optimiser’s you see increases but when you combine these as one system you know you have secured your market with a very well planned sales and marketing strategy that works, We believe in this approach to optimising your web marketing efforts and if you need to discuss how this can help change your business marketing for the better please feel free to get in touch we deal with these systems everyday and we love to help businesses take control of their online marketing processes.

Let us help Tune up your web marketing.

If you want to see the condition of you website please use our free website SEO audit tool this will give you an indication of how your website stands for performance.

#webmecs #seoaudit #webdesign #designforux

Local Business Love

Local Business Love

SEO with Local Business Love in mind.

I’ll always have time for local business SEO it’s how i got my start giving the small to medium businesses SEO services and tips to improve their strategies.

The landscape in the local SEO field has changed slightly with more focus being placed on diversified reviews, consistent NAP listings, relevant linking to and from and being able to answer search queries of users with relative content that helps to satisfy user search queries.

So let’s take a look at these Local Business factors

1. Reviews – Google has started showing reviews from other third party platforms as well as Google owned properties reviews. There is a desire for a diverse mix of reviews and not just Yelp reviews as an example but more so a good mix of Yelp, Google, facebook and so on reviews. Forbes nails it with this summary of review importance.

2. NAP – NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone number. When a NAP listing is completed this counts towards trust building for a brand In the US they refer to this as a citation and in AUS we know it as a business listing both are the same thing. This article outlines the importance of listing your business in directories.

There is a lot of consideration placed on having these listings completed in the exact same way on each listing creating a common profile across all listings, for an accurate identifier if your NAP you can use the one associated with your Google a Webmaster Tools (GWT). Here are some benefits from listing in directories.

3. Relevant linking – it’s reasonable for a locksmith to link to a security company and to an alarm installer but it’s not reasonable for a locksmith to link to a Gym even though that locksmith may have installed that gyms locks, if the gym links back to the locksmith then trust between the two profiles can be impressed easily associated although this link will not be as powerful as if the link from the locksmith was to an alarm installer.

If you think of it like this a search was made on Google for “replace a lock” and locksmithdarwin.com shows up the users visit this site and there is a link out to glassrepairdarwin.com this is natural and relevant and more likely for a user to search for and be interested in.

Locksmith> Alarm instal > security company > glass repair > Home security

These are all related search terms and appear natural and not spammy or misleading.

4. Answering Questions – when a user comes to your site if you can answer their search query you are providing helpful insight and therefore providing value.google loves this and rewards sites that answer queries with ranking increases. As long as the site continues to provide value.

One way to do this is by proving a FAQ page or a instructional videos page that can help users find answers your site will become the place they come to for answers also building trust for your brand in the eyes of Google.

Local Business SEO

Local SEO for businesses is carried out in a different method to franchise and national company SEO there are more geo location focused optimisation and keyword application methods used to keep the local business focused on the area most closely related to the target business service area.

The follow up action you can do to further increase your local search efforts is to fine tune your on page SEO, provide content that is rich with answers and helps provide what the user is looking for a smart way to do this without having the ability to read minds is to analyse your data, Google provides analytics dashboards for a reason and if you know how to use this tool you can bypass the need to read minds as the data is presented to you if you know how to find it.

Seeing local businesses grow and use methods we teach is extremely rewarding and something we take great pride in. To grow you business with local search you need to understand your marketplace landscape and this is the method we apply map out the landscape, identify the opportunities and then implement the processes for local search growth, and now its time to see you business grow.

This infographic shows the importance of Geo Location Targeting.

++ Click Image to Enlarge ++
Location, Location, Location - Geo-marketing & Why it Matters
Source: Location, Location, Location – Geo-marketing & Why it Matters Infographic
Lucky for you I have nothing but local business love.
You can view our SEO packages for your own Local Business Love

The NEW LinkedIN with Microsoft 

The NEW LinkedIN with Microsoft 

Microsoft purchased LinkedIN

Why would Microsoft want a professional networking platform? Here is an interesting summary.

What are the changes and how does this affect you?

Well immediately there are none. Everything is staying the same…for now.

LinkedIN is a powerful platform for B2B networking and when used in the right way lead generation can be made very simple.

Microsoft is well known for its computer systems and foray into gaming with the Xbox. Microsofts assets list is huge and adding LinkedIN is a feather in the cap.

Slideshare a subdivision of the popular platform may see some slight developments in its delivery, appearance and offerings.

I’ll rehash this post with updates about the purchase as I get them…stay tuned!

You really need to be on this platform in terms of endless networking opportunities and competitor analysis if you are not using a professional platform to represent yourself you could be missing a lot of networking opportunities

Interested in a FREE account.

In August I posted about a work life change in direction from office to working from home on LinkedIN plenty of feedback and a great example of what you can do on LinkedIN

Its definitely not a platform to be overlooked we drive a lot of business from this platform and the networking is endless, If you want to discuss the pro’s and con’s of LinkedIN Im open to hear your take on the platform and any success you have had or think the impact of Microsoft being involved changes the functions of the platform.

As always I hope you have enjoyed this post.

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Local Marketing With Google My Business

Local Marketing With Google My Business

Display Your Brand Online With A Google My Business Account

Business can create and list their information free on Google maps, helping customers find them online and in the real world. With consumers using mobile search more and more, your business must adapt to the shifting trends in search. Many businesses are NOT listed on Google Maps and have no idea that it even exists.

To compete in the local markets you need to have your maps listings setup. There is a continuing change in the way the local search results are displayed by Google and this comes from the habits of user search.

Near Me Search Trends

Have you heard the term “Near Me”?

This is how your customers are searching for things now.

Consumer A: Uses mobile to search google for “cafe near me” Google presents a list of businesses that fit the search term and directs consumer A to maps to get directions.

Structuring your website for these kind of search terms, and optimising your Google My Business listing can help you capture your share if that market.

I Want To Go, Micro Moments

micro-moments-near-me

I want to know moments near me and micro-moments.

To effectively use your Google My Business listing, you need to think of it as your local search anchor. This anchor point is your centre of gravity for all business listings and your pin point map location. Display your business like it was the first employee a new customer would see when coming into your business for the first time. No untucked shirts and scruffy jeans for your listing, dress it up as your own digital billboard welcoming all new comers to your business. business

You have the opportunity to provide customers with relevant information, and information that will help them make a choice on the fly or a planned choice. The planned choices tend to convert into sales within the fortnight after the consumer has done some research into you and your competitors. Incorporating a form of sales tracking and identifying where they came across your business and why they ultimately choose your business can help you understand what it is you need to focus on.

The competition for local search will increase and not particularly by other organic search results but by Google and their push for an increase of real estate given to Paid advertised listings. The search results are becoming more focused on squeezing paid listings, and its evident that Google will be minimising these numbers of organic results again.

Think about all this and also think about the current state of your website. If you want to talk to us about helping you capture some more sales leads our Web Design Page is here.

Google My Business Marketing Platform

Creating your Google My Business account is the step in the right direction. Now warning the dashboard for Google My Business can be confusing. Take it slow and try to have all the information about your business ready before you try to set it up. There are a lot of buttons and sections to be filled out, If you would like someone to assist in the set up of your account visit our discovery form on the header above this page.

The best thing about using Google My Business for us is getting to use Gmail and Google Drive. If you have not tried Google Drive and all the super handy free functions to sum it up think of Microsofts “office” paid subscription but Google made it and its free, more functional and more integration allowed than any Microsoft product that we have ever used.

Access will be included for Youtube, Blogger, Maps, Google Plus and more. Try Google Drive Free Today! To sign up for this awesome account with Google Follow this link

 

Google My Business Help Setup With Listings

You can set up a profile quite easily but managing the associated properties can be cumbersome. One important thing to do is create your account and become verified this is where Google requires verification that you do actually own the business and are located at the physical address listed on your profile. This would usually entail confirming your ownership by phone call, phone SMS, email (in some cases) and more commonly by having a post card sent by mail to your business address. You would when you have the post card use the verification code contained within the card to verify your account. This is a slow method but it does weed out any spammers and those using the platform for shady practises.

During the sign up process you might find that someone else has claimed your listing. This happens and can be worked out by following the processes listed in this problem solving video.

Problem Solving Google My Business Claimed Listings

Follow the steps outlined in the video to reclaim your business listing.

 

How Do I Get Verified On Google My Business?

You can get verified on Google my business by answering a call inputting the code you receive, getting a mail out code either of these work well and can get you verified as soon as you submit the code. You will need to prove to Google that you are a legitimate business and have ownership of the business. There is a different category classification for exactly what businesses get the call verification and email verification options, the standard process is post card verification.

You can verify the listing once you have proven your ownership to Google. The customer support is very hit and miss, but they are the biggest search engine company on the planet and I would imagine the questions that would be on the support desk to deal with. For this reason I forgive them for a not so great customer support experience.

Can I Verify A Business With Multiple Locations?

Yes, you certainly can get verified for multiple listings. You will have a slightly more frigid knowledge base if you get stuck, there are many more hoops to jump through but Google has created something called a Bulk Dashboard basically it’s a special dashboard for businesses with 10 or more locations.

I’ve worked on several accounts where clients had listings but had moved to a new location and not made the required changes this is where it gets real messy in terms of keeping your business listings organised. If this is you make contact I have a pretty solid system for cleaning up duplicate listings and closing down old profiles.

The Bulk dashboard was designed for Franchises and multiple location businesses, that tend to have stores or franchises numbering in the thousands. We strongly urge any business that has 10+ business locations to hire a specialist for the Google My Business management of these locations. The bulk dashboard is some piece of work and not so easy to find support for questions.

Will Google My Business Work For Teams?

Yes, Google my Business can be managed by multiple levels of employee or team members. You just need to set up the access for your personal. Below we have an instructional video that demonstrates the way you can share access with your employees and team members.

 How To Share Access To Your Google My Business Listing


There is a lot of activity on Google plus and you will see some activity on your Google maps listing, just setting these up

Is not enough you need to optimise them to see the full effects. I’ve seen a huge boost in organic traffic when we combined posts on Google + with website links and or media they have a massive list of very active communities. Interacting and display presentation can get you only so far. Optimise your website and optimise your local search listing.

Harnessing any property owned by google is a smart idea. Google created a FREE marketing platform especially targeted at helping their organic search users to find businesses and services in their area. This alone makes it a smart choice to use the platform for your business.

Taking ownership of your business brand online should be key in any marketing strategy to enforce ownership of your business identity. I like to think of it like this, the biggest search engine in the world is giving you a platform that is tailor made for their search engine to show your business in the search results. The search and find landlord is giving you a free penthouse rental, you would be crazy not to use a tool crafted by Google for Google.

Local Marketing With Google My Business 4

 

Predictions for the future 2017 and beyond

What do I see taking shape as trends and popular behaviours for the back end of 2017 and beyond.

  1. Voice search is increase in popularity
  2. Virtual Reality will make a more mainstream move
  3. Businesses Adapting to Cryptocurrency
  4. Topical Theming
  5. Augmented Reality will become part of Businesses marketing strategy. Think Snapchat filters etc

These are the 5 biggest shifts in how marketing online will adapt and change to cater towards. Learning about how to incorporate these methods  into your digital marketing strategy will put you miles ahead of your competition.

 

Step By Step Google My Business Checklist

For anyone still thinking that this process of using Google my business seems like a chore, this step by step roadmap below can help guide you through the sign up process.

The key is to organise your information before starting the signup process. Info-graph courtesy of our friends at Simply Business.

Follow Along Guide To Setup Google My Business

Local Marketing With Google My Business 5
Click image to open interactive version (via Simply Business).

 

Conclusion

It is essential to have a Google My Business listing if you want to compete in your local market. The future sees maps and organic listings becoming harder to claim and showing a smaller number of results as Google shifts towards paid displays.

This free platform Google has provided for businesses to advertise is very powerful and when optimised can have a huge impact on local search results. Yes this is an essential web property that should be used for advertising your business online. You can find out more beneficial and to read about some beneficial reasons why you need this here are 10 reasons.
For more articles like this one continue reading on our blog just search it here.

If Google was a man

If Google was a man

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be Google?

Just one day as the most used search query bar on the planet, brings up all kinds of thoughts.

In this 5 part short video series we take a look at what it would be like to be in the hub of google and what it would be like if Google was a man answering search queries.

Hilarious and well worth a watch. If you could sit face to face with man google what would you ask/search for?

Enjoy and this link will take you back to the Blog!

 

Googles Search Engine explained

What Does Googles Search Engine Really Do?

Search Engines Explained

In order to find what they are looking and often it is a no real thought process to type in what it is you want and perhaps a location if it is a service based search query.

Then we get a search optimised result based on the word typed into the search bar and in one click we can be taken to the website of the search queries closest matching result.

Fascinating. But there is by far a lot more involved in the evolution and constant development of the search engine as you will see in the video below.

 

Most people will search the internet on google’s search bar

Im fascinated by the mechanics and the concept that you type in a search query and the search engine produces to you a very targeted result list that can span in the millions and millions of results for some of the more common terms.

 

In this video google employees describe how google search began to evolve and the changes that were conceived in the evolution process

Please enjoy this video about the evolution of the search engine

Read more on search engines and how to properly prepare your website, for the Google crawlers so that your website is found more easily using Search Engine Optimisation

Return to the Webmecs Blog.

SEO Know It All’s We Caught Them!

How much do you know about SEO?

Yellow Pages vs Google what do you use more?
 
Google search has made Yellow Pages almost redundant, people turn to Google search faster than outdated advertising methods.
Since people are now using the web to advertise this is where SEO comes into play, you would use SEO to increase the and optimise the effectiveness of your website for the Google search engine.

SEO The Organic Ranking Factor

People may not understand SEO but they know they need it to make an impact online. We actually thought this video was quite entertaining.

When a reporter went and conducted random interviews with average day suburban US citizens about how much they knew on the topic of SEO (search Engine Optimisation) 

the answers where off the mark and it seemed not many people had the slightest idea about what SEO was.  An important factor within this video is that the reporter asked “When was the last time that you used the Yellow Pages?” many replied that they had not used the YP in a long, long time.

The answer given is an increasing truth with the way that the internet is taking over today with more and more people browsing the web on mobile devices as discussed here on the smart marketers post about the statistics of mobile marketing.

People have turned to the internet to advertise more so than paper directories its fact! Online searches outweigh any paper directory and happen daily in the millions and millions of search queries.

Why ask about SEO?

SEO is a very crucial factor in improving the search listing rank and discoverability online by optimising websites with on page and off page factors and now there is a heavy rank factor placed on the amount of fresh and related content produced on the website meaning does the website answer questions? does the website provide examples? can someone search the search a query and find an answer or be sent  to another site with the answer. Google sees the UX as super important and wants a smooth flowing search experience while users are actively searching for topics.

Enough of the techy SEO nerd talk and lets watch the video.

 

Warning! Some laughter may occur.