Remember when Vine took over the social media world and shortly after, Instagram decided to add videos to their feed? Well, as many predicted, Instagram has not stopped its clone ways. Just a few weeks ago Instagram added “Stories” to its platform. Sound familiar? Instagram has done it once again; it has now taken Snapchat’s concept and incorporated into its own feed. So the question is, are people using this tool? Yes! Though Snapchat numbers have not decreased any, Instagram numbers are growing because of the new Stories feature. As of now, brands are using this tool to their advantage because the amount of views they receive on Instagram nearly triples the numbers on Snapchat.
According to Social Media Today, over 100 million people use Instagram Stories each day. Maybe users had enough practice story making since Snapchat launched four years ago, but Instagram has not stopped there. The Explore tab on Instagram always informed users on their favorite interests including celebrities, clothes, and even food, but now Stories will be loaded in the Explore tab so users can watch stories from different sporting events, concerts, and other events. The popular Stories being posted on the Explore tab is very convenient for users who want to know what is going on around the world and Instagram has made it one click away.
A few years ago, Matt Cutts, a Google software engineer, confirmed many SEO specialists’ suspicions: 301 redirects affect PageRank, which is the algorithm Google uses to rank sites in its search engine results pages (SERP). Cutts’ confirmation stated that the PageRank of an old URL was not fully passed on to the new URL, causing a drop in rankings. In order to prevent movement in the rankings, it was suggested to link through using a normal link versus using a redirect. Two years later, our pal Matt Cutts released a statement that 301 redirects no longer dilute PageRank. SEO specialists celebrated as Cutts said, “The amount of PageRank that dissipates through a 301 is currently identical to the amount of PageRank that dissipates through a link.” Now that our 301 worries are relieved, what about 302 redirects or other 30x redirects?
Up until now, all other forms of redirects still caused a dilution in PageRank. It wasn’t until last month that SEO specialists could stop worrying about PageRank when Gary Illyes, a Google webmaster trends analyst, confirmed that using a 301, 302, or 30x redirect of any kind will not result in a loss of PageRank. Google’s John Mueller also confirmed this statement.
301 redirects are used most commonly when a page with good page authority from your domain has been removed from the site. It is encouraged to add a 301 redirect from that page to another relevant page from your domain. In terms of SEO, this is a better alternative than using 404 error pages, which have no SEO advantage.
Are you interested in optimizing your search engine results? RobMark Web’s team of SEO Specialists is here to help! With a mix of white hat SEO tactics, RobMark Web can help you improve your PageRank.
So you’ve launched a new website and your search engine rankings plummeted. Now what? There are several things to consider while building and launching your new website to ensure your site stays optimized and/or improves in optimization. Some common mistakes that occur while building a new website that can affect your SEO include the following:
- Using unoptimized or Flash-based images — These types of images can lead to slow load time on your website and in the not-so-patient world of e-commerce, customers won’t wait for the page to load. Flash-based images can even prevent users from accessing the website via mobile devices altogether, which accounts for at least fifty percent of all web traffic nowadays.
- Neglecting to migrate important content — Informative and unique content is important in terms of SEO, which includes content that lives behind the scenes—meta data and alt tags. Sometimes while migrating from an old site to a new one, that content gets missed. These elements are crucial to preserve existing SEO practices.
- Blocking search engines from crawling the website — Occasionally during planning and development, a robot.txt code is used to block search engine crawlers from crawling an unfinished website. However, sometimes developers may forget to remove that code while transferring over to a live server, making the new website uncrawlable and unrankable. Or certain firewall settings could be preventing the website from being crawled. Search engines need to have the ability to crawl and read the website in order for it to be ranked.
- Lacking mobile-friendly optimization — Like previously stated, mobile traffic makes up approximately fifty percent of all web traffic, and in some cases more. Last year, Google adjusted its algorithm to weigh more on mobile-friendliness, i.e. ranking responsive, mobile-friendly sites higher than those that aren’t. While in the development stage, by primarily focusing more on the appearance of the site on a laptop, you’re doing more harm than good. Thinking about the user’s experience on all devices will set you up for the success.
These are just four of the common SEO mistakes that occur during new website launches. Next time, trust Savannah’s web design experts at RobMark Web. Staffed with web designers, programmers, and SEO specialists, every website launched by Robmark Web is run through a gauntlet of testing on all devices and a thorough SEO checklist to ensure your rankings go nowhere but up. Call (912) 921-1040.
Robmark Web is proud to announce the launch of another website: ZippererAndCo.com! This brand-new website showcases the beautiful work of Zipperer and Company, a landscape and hardscape company servicing the greater Savannah, GA, area.
The website features a clean and functional design that highlights various landscape and hardscape services, and that shows off the beautiful photography of past Zipperer and Company projects that would make any homeowner envious. Just check out their online portfolio! Website visitors can also read about industry tips and featured projects on the Zipperer and Company blog. Next time you are looking to spruce up your yard or create a custom-designed outdoor oasis, stop by the new ZippererAndCo.com!
What started with Siri in 2010 has quickly transformed into a growing industry that involves all the big tech players, including Apple, Google, and Amazon. Voice search has not only grown over the last three years, but it has exploded. In one year, voice search went from zero percent of searches to 10 percent, and as of June 2016, it now accounts for 20 percent of searches. That is huge growth in a short amount of time, and that percentage can be expected to continue to grow.
Consumers are using voice search in a few ways, which Hound, a voice query app, has divided into the following four categories:
- Personal Assistant — creating events, shopping lists, reminders, making calls, or sending texts
- Fun and Entertainment — listening to music, social media, searching video, or playing games
- General Information — web searches, news, recipes, or banking and finance.
- Local Information — finding restaurants, shopping, directions, home services weather, or traffic
Voice-controlled Personal Assistant and the General Information searches are the majority of voice queries.
With this change in how consumers are searching, businesses are going to have to employ new strategies in order to keep up. Since certain voice searches are bypassing the opportunities for competitors to try and attract your attention with high organic listings and paid advertisements, new strategies need to be developed to ensure that small businesses don’t get left behind in the new voice search era. Some things to consider include online reputation, search result rankings on search engines other than Google, and long-tail keywords.
Amazon Echo relies on “Skills,” which is Echo’s version of apps, to provide data for its searches. This can leave small businesses at a competitive disadvantage due to lack of capital to create a comprehensive application like big brands and franchises are able to do. This means the best way to compete is to optimize your presence on vertical sites that have applications, like Yelp, for example. Yelp is especially important since it is also the skill that Echo accesses when looking up local businesses such as restaurants or retail shops.
Being on the first page of Google is great, but what if a user is searching via Bing, Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo? Where does your site rank on the non-majority search engines?
Amazon Echo is the leading personal assistant at the moment and its default search engine is Bing. It’s important to make sure you have good standing across all of the top search engines, not just the majority leader — Google.
Queries, when using voice search, tend to be more conversational, longer, more nuanced, and actually reveal a greater intent than basic searches. For example, a user who is typing may search for “ac repair near me,” whereas a user using a voice assistant may say, “There is a burning smell coming from my Trane ac unit.” Or instead of searching for a pizza restaurant near you, you will ask your personal assistant to order you a specific pizza from that app on your device. This is also the case with local service providers. Instead of searching for an electrician in your area, you will request your personal assistant to book an appointment with the highest-rated local electrician who is available during a certain time. This last instance can circle back around to our first objective: online reputation.
Since this is relatively new technology, competition, issues, and updates will undoubtedly arise, making it difficult to anticipate what strategies will work. However, if small businesses stay on top of the technology and actively participate as it grows, it lessens the chance of being left behind as this industry changes.
If you haven’t noticed already, be prepared to see advertising budgets change this year. As brands continue to invest more in digital advertising, for the first time ever, spending on digital display ads will surpass search ad spending.
Though spending has increased, it doesn’t mean your ROI is through the roof; marketers are still struggling to engage people across multiple channels and devices—that is, until recently. Advertisers are realizing that addressability is the solution to the various challenges created by cross-channel behaviors. Investing in people-based efforts will help marketers leverage their data to connect with customers in real time. Now, what does that mean? By moving beyond cookies and tapping into first-party customer data, advertisers are able to reach the right person in the right place at the right time.
In a world where ad blocking is the new normal, digital advertising must get better. Improved targeting, formats, and relevancy have become crucial to breaking though to consumers. People-based efforts will help serve more relevant ads to potential customers, thus increasing the opportunity of conversions. The majority of earlier adopters of people-based advertising have seen higher click-through rates and higher conversion rates compared to cookie-based results. As we see digital display budgets increase, we can expect to see people-based advertising as the prevailing trend.