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Category Archives: Website Design

Google Turns to Mobile-First Indexing. Are You Ready?

Google mobile indexing

Smartphones have officially taken control of the internet. People use them to search more often than they use desktop or laptop computers. Statistically speaking, it is more likely that a person browsing your site will use a phone to do it than any other device.

In response, Google has turned to mobile-first indexing. This puts a priority on sites that have been optimized for a mobile experience. Are you ready for the change? The way you respond can dramatically impact your page rank and your site's exposure moving forward. The change is here to stay, and odds are that the mobile numbers will only continue to increase.

Not Mobile-Only Indexing

This new way of building site rankings now begins with mobile sites, which become Google's initial point for indexing, but that does not mean there is no value in a more traditional site. The index will not exclude sites without a mobile variation. It simply prefers them. A desktop version would still get indexed and could rank fairly well if there is no mobile version at all.

In other words, if you have not prepared for the shift yet, your site is not going to suddenly disappear from search rankings with mobile users. It can still rank. It is still reachable.

Ranking Issues

However, not having the mobile version can hurt your ranking. It's not preferred by Google, nor will it be preferred by the end user. The site could have less content, for instance, or it may not provide content in a manner that is easily accessible by a smartphone.

As you know, users do not take the time to work through any sorts of problems and complications online. They simply move on. This lack of optimization could then push mobile users away, cutting into traffic and reducing your ranking even further. At the same time, click rates and dwell times will fall. Everything works against you when your site is optimized for a platform that the majority of your visitors simply are not using.

Identical Content

One thing that can help is if you have engaging, identical content on both your mobile site and your desktop site. Both still get considered for your overall ranking. Where an inadequate mobile site really hurts you is if it means the site people get to actually lacks content that is presented to desktop users. Your site is not as valuable to those on smartphones, and your ranking will reflect that.

As such, it is important to carefully consider all of your content needs and to design a content plan that offers the same thing to both types of users. That could keep you from being impacted by this change in any way, even if you do not have a dedicated mobile site yet.

Mobile-Friendly Content

Another thing to consider is the need for mobile-friendly content. Consider the user experience on a small screen, potentially in a chaotic setting –- on the bus, at the airport, in a restaurant. Long paragraphs with complex sentences and small font are simply not user-friendly. Instead, focus on short, concise sentences. Break frequently for new paragraphs. Use large, legible fonts. Focus on a simplistic page and content construction. Make good use of whitespace. Make the entire site as intuitive as you can.

Embracing the Change

Google has been running this new change for much of 2018 and some of the impact is already clear. As always, Google is responding to the user and trying to focus on enhancing that user experience on every level. You need to embrace this change and do the same. Strive for content that fits the new mobile-first model and make sure you understand exactly what steps you can take to rank as highly as possible.

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The PRET Model Shows You How to Design for Google and for Users

PRET model site design

Effective search engine optimization must cater to Google's algorithm to achieve a high rank, but that should not mean ignoring the user experience. Over the years, Google has worked hard to analyze search trends and find out what people are truly searching for in order to give them the best results. Google also works to eliminate the impact of sites built just to attract search engine attention without providing real value. So, what makes a site connect with users and rank highly on Google? The answer lies in the PRET Model, which was designed by industry experts to check all those boxes. PRET stands for Popularity, Relevance, Engagement and Trust.

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How Your Veteran-Led Business Can Capitalize on Google’s New Attribute Identifier

veteran google attribute identifier

Veteran-owned, led or founded businesses received a significant helping hand from Google’s recent announcement discussing the debut of a new attribute badge for Google My Business profiles.

This “Veteran-Led” attribute badge provides customers with a quick and easy way to locate local veteran-owned businesses in Google Maps and Google Search results. It will appear alongside additional features in your business profile including “Outdoor Seating,” “Family-Friendly” and “Has Wifi,” and joins the ranks of the “Woman-Led” business badge which appeared earlier this year.

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Google's Speed Update Is Here, But Fast Pages Already Rank Higher

google speed update

Announced earlier this year, Google's "Speed Update" is officially beginning its rollout. This means that loading times on mobile will now affect search rankings, especially for the slowest sites.

Many webmasters are likely already trying to increase their site's speed on mobile if for no other reason than to improve user experience. If you're in this position, you may be ahead of the game - a new report from Searchmetrics indicates that load speed has already been affecting Google rankings. However, your pages may need to load even faster than previously thought to see any SEO benefit after this update.

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The 8 Best Types of Video For Small Businesses (and When to Use Them)

types of video

The benefits of using video in your digital marketing can't be overstated. As a strategy, video has been a top performer for years, providing companies with unmatched social reach, increased conversions and excellent ROI overall.

However, it's no secret that effective video marketing can be expensive and time-consuming. Larger companies often have the budget for an ongoing video strategy involving the creation and promotion of many videos of various types. Luckily, small businesses can still see huge benefits with video, perhaps just on a smaller scale. Creating even one or two of the following types of videos could seriously boost your leads, sales and exposure.

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