You probably recognize the importance of ensuring your company’s website is mobile-friendly because so many of your repeat and potential customers rely on their mobile devices. According to Comscore, the number of Americans who access the Internet via mobile devices outgrew the number of Americans who prefer PCs as of 2015. However, while you may be concerned about making the design mobile-friendly, you might not have thought about how and why to make your SEO mobile-friendly. To do so, focus on local searches.
Context of Mobile Searches
Consider what kind of context a potential buyer would be using their mobile phone to make a search in. Say you sell pizza and a hungry customer is nearby. She will google pizza in her area and will find your business. Before she’s had time to debate whether or not she should have pizza today, she’ll drive up to your store. It’s an impulse buy. Google reports that 18 percent of local smartphone purchases (compared to 7 percent of non-local searches) in 2014 resulted in a purchase within 24 hours. That’s a sizeable number.
Even when using a mobile to search from home, a potential customer is more likely to type a city name along with a search term. If he wants to try on shoes, he’ll type something like “buy new shoes Chicago” so he can find places in his city to try them on. He doesn’t care about businesses states away when he needs a product or service locally, so he’ll make sure to put his city or state name in virtually every search he does. Make sure your website is among the first sites to come up for a local relevant search term by putting a city or state name in every search term you focus on.
Study the Search Term Data
What are the most popular search terms for businesses in your industry? If you find something like “buy used books” or “affordable yoga classes” are among the top contenders, don’t compete with every business that wants to be among the top results for those keywords. There are too many businesses and if your company is largely local, you don’t need your business to appear in searches for customers around the world anyway. Add a city, state or area name to each term, such as “buy used books Houston” or “affordable yoga classes Minneapolis” to zero in on the local customers and decrease your competition.
Offer Local Incentives
Even while on the go and more likely to impulse buy, shoppers want to save money. Add terms like “affordable,” “cheap,” “discounted,” “savings” and “coupon” to your search terms in addition to the area name. Offer coupons exclusively to anyone who mentions a deal from your website to incentivize a visit to your store or office.
More focus on local searches will actually pay off with consumers who search on their PCs as well as with consumers who primarily search via mobile devices, so there’s no reason not to make local search terms a priority when developing content. Just by adding a city or state name in front of a search term, you’ll gain more relevancies and compete against fewer other businesses to get consumers’ attention. It’s a simple tweak to make to your current list of SEO terms, and it pays off substantially.
Even if you’re relatively pleased with your company’s current website, it’s important to understand that web design is in constant state of evolution. The fact that your site looks good and runs well by outdated standards is hardly an indicator of success. Because of the ever-changing nature of web design technology and the rapidly fluctuating tastes of Internet users, you’ll need to update your site’s core design as needed. In some cases, this means doing a complete overhaul; in others, it’s simply a matter of making a few small changes. If your company’s site could stand some sprucing up, you’d do well to consider some of 2016’s most popular design trends.
Although web designers remain fiercely divided on hamburger menus, some of the web’s most visited sites have utilized them to great effect. Despite its somewhat misleading name, a hamburger menu refers to a circular button that’s displayed at the top left, top right or, occasionally, the center of a site’s main page. The instant this button is clicked, users are greeted with one or more menus that display a wide range of page links and options. While hamburger buttons are convenient for people visiting your site on traditional PCs and laptops, they can prove somewhat cumbersome on smaller-screened mobile devices – so if the majority of your site’s traffic can be traced back to mobile browsing, hamburger menus may not be for you.
All-Encompassing Background Images
A decade ago, nearly every site you’d come across, be it personal or professional, was littered with images. At the time, the guiding principle behind web design seemed to be “more is better.” Needless to say, that adage is no longer applied to crafting websites. These days, looking at a site created during this bygone era is liable to elicit disapproving clicks and head-shakes from experienced web designers. If you take the time to visit the websites of successful businesses, you’ll quickly notice one thing they share in common: all-encompassing background images. In recent years, using a large photo or illustration as a page’s sole background image has become very trendy. Provided each page’s image directly relates to its content, the “less is more” principle will serve your site well. As Digital Current’s Sasha Fedkevich points out, 2016 is the year of visual content marketing, so make sure to choose your background images wisely.
Many restaurant websites and ecommerce sites are having success with card-style layouts. Per this arrangement, each page on a site is made up of several large card-like images. Styles vary, but many sites prefer to have one large horizontal card encompass the entire top half of the page, while three or four smaller vertical cards occupy the bottom half. Additionally, make sure these cards are made up of bold colors. According to Forbes’ Tomas Laurinavicius, 2016 will see continued growth in the bold color trend.
No matter how happy you are with your current site, sooner or later, you’ll need to make some aesthetic and functionality-related changes. Although making regular updates may strike you as cumbersome, failing to do so will leave your site looking and feeling outdated. In the quest to keep your site up-to-date on both the technical and visual fronts, you’ll need to stay current with the latest trends in the world of web design.
Businesses and bloggers alike are concerned about blog optimization and increasing traffic to their websites. They worry about creating compelling content and paying for the right advertizing campaigns to spread the word about their blogs, and these are both valid concerns. However, there’s something far simpler too many bloggers overlook: adjusting how you update your blog. Get more traffic with far less effort than you might think.
Include More Photos and Videos
Even if you initially attract visitors to your website through a stellar online marketing campaign, you won’t encourage the visitors to return if all they find is walls of text. While the content is important, you need to break up the visual presentation of your blog with more photos and videos. Find more professional-looking photographs at stock image websites. (It’s important you have permission to use photos on your blog; simply downloading a photo from the Internet may result in you being sued by the owner of the original image.) Purchase a plan and make use of unlimited relevant photos.
Videos are especially important. According to Crazy Egg, videos have a 41 percent better click-through rate than plain-text results in universal search engines. If your blog pops up during a keyword search relevant to your industry because of a video you host on the blog, you’re more likely to attract visitors. Include a video at least once a month, but make sure you have permission to share the video or make one yourself.
Update More Often
Break longer posts into multiple-part series, and keep blog posts in the 500-1000-word range. Much shorter and your content won’t prove worthwhile to readers, any longer and you waste an opportunity to get multiple days’ worth of updates and may bore casual readers. Plan your updates for days or even weeks in advance, and do your research to include more sources to give your content a more reliable reputation. If you set the posts to update automatically, you won’t even have to be in front of a computer to update throughout the week.
Change When You Update It
HubSpot claims Tuesday and Wednesday are the most popular days of the week to publish blog posts. Try changing your update schedule to include one or both of these days; this is especially important if you only update once a week or a couple of times per week.
However, just because these are the best days for the majority of blogs doesn’t mean they’ll prove the best days for yours. Experiment with the update schedule to pinpoint the days that bring you the most traffic. For example, compare a month of updating on Tuesday or Wednesday to updating on another day of the week and see if the general rule that Tuesday and Wednesday prove more popular for bloggers applies to you.
When it comes to attracting repeat visitors to your blog, how you update your blog is as important as what you update it with or how you market it. These simple changes take minimal effort and are worth experimenting with. Adjust how you update your blog, and be rewarded with better blog optimization.