StayinSavannah.com Now Live!

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Robmark Web is thrilled to announce the newly redesigned StayinSavannah.com! Known for its rich history and beauty, Savannah, GA is easily one of the most popular tourist destinations in the South. With exciting local events, nightlife hotspots, numerous dining options, and popular tourist attractions, why wouldn’t you want to stay in Savannah?

Filled with beautiful photography and an easy to navigate design, the new Stay in Savannah website features listings of some of the best things to see and do during your Savannah vacation. Plus, interactive maps show nearby attractions to help visitors pick which Savannah hotel is the best fit for them.

Website visitors can also learn about holidays and events happening year round, and those traveling for meetings, reunions, or weddings can find the best activities and accommodations for their group. From tours, attractions, and kid-friendly destinations to restaurants, nightlife, and places to stay, this website guides you through all that the city has to offer, which makes organizing your vacation to Savannah a breeze.

So stop by and check out Robmark Web’s newest website, StayinSavannah.com, and start planning your dream trip to the picturesque city of Savannah!

No More PageRank Dilution with 30x Redirects

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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.

Web Technology Advancements: HTTP/2

Every once in a while, a revolutionary piece of technology surfaces that changes the way we live our everyday lives, and changes and tweaks are made to these technologies to continually make them better. Web technology has no doubt changed the way we live our lives, and though minuscule changes and advancements have been made over the years, one new change is being referred to as the greatest advancement in web technology in the last 20 years: HTTP/2.

If you look at a URL, like the one for this blog (URL), it begins with HTTP. The HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol – an application protocol for information systems – and is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. It works like a request. Excuse me, Internet. May I please see this information? Then the servers process the request and deliver the HTML files we requested in the form of a website.

Just like with any other type of technology, as changes are made, new versions are released. Well, HTTP/2 is finally here and it’s the first new version of HTTP since HTTP/1.1, which was standardized in 1997. This new update will bring advancements in speed, efficiency, and security to your website by using less resources and other major improvements, which you can read about here.

HTTP/2 is currently supported on 77 percent of browsers used in the U.S. and 68 percent globally, but with a few caveats. Internet Explorer 11 will only support HTTP/2 on Windows 10, and Firefox and Chrome will only support it over HTTPS. You can see how this could affect your website visitors by going to Audience>Technology>Browser & OS in Google Analytics.

If you’ve been following our blog you’ve seen our posts about search engine optimization and how page load speed affects your rankings. This now means you could see a boost in your search rankings as a result of your site loading faster with HTTP/2. Website speed also provides a better user experience and has been linked to increases in leads, sales, and conversion rates.

There has yet to be a proven downside to upgrading and industry influencers are shouting from the rooftops encouraging people to make the switch. As Savannah’s Web design company, we are doing our due diligence to ensure this is the right move for our clients and potential clients. Feel free to give us a call at (912) 921-1040 if you have any questions about HTTP/2 or about how it will affect your website.

In 6 Weeks, Fox Sports increased Website Traffic — How?

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Fox Sports has been successful at increasing its audience on social platforms like YouTube and Facebook, but wanted to see a similar growth in their website traffic. The popular sports channel set a goal and achieved it, but how did they do it?

About six weeks ago, the company began rolling out a new mobile and website design, which has three key features that focus on user engagement: A fixed social bar that makes it easier for users to share and comment on articles; a semi-infinite scroll with four consecutive stories; and personalized article recommendations based on a user’s browsing history.

Prior to the redesign, the sports website had a “fundamental problem,” according to the company’s SVP of Product Development, Devin Poolman. “Whether they were coming from mobile or Facebook, in our traditional experience, we weren’t giving them a lot of opportunity to do anything other than read that story,” said Poolman. The old design was focused on URLs; user clicks on a link, user reads the story, and that was it. If the user wanted to read more stories, he or she had to proactively search for them, which led to a drop-off.

The three main new features implemented are popular website trends that several successful websites have already implemented, including the popular social news site BuzzFeed.com, and are features that almost any company can implement on their own website. Let’s take a deeper look at these features.

Fixed social bar
In the social world we live in today, people are always sharing, liking, commenting, tweeting, pinning, and more. Making it easy for the user to do all of the above not only satisfies them, but it also helps with your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), because search engines see social signals as a positive for your ranking on the search engine result pages. Every time an article is shared, it opens another door back to your website, which also helps with SEO.

Semi-infinite scroll/infinite scroll
Infinite scroll means you can continuously scroll through content without ever reaching the bottom of the page—think Facebook or Twitter feeds. Semi-infinite means it will populate articles as you scroll, but users will eventually reach an end. In terms of Fox Sports, users will scroll through four articles before reaching an end. Infinite scroll isn’t the answer for every website, as it all depends on the website’s goals, but for websites that curate a lot of content or provide a lot of user-generated content, it could be a good way to get content exposure and to provide a fast and easy browsing experience.

Personalized articles
Based on search history and other articles you may have read on the website, a website can provide suggested articles it thinks a user may be interested in. By providing these article suggestions, it is increasing the time users spend on the website and the number of pages visited, while decreasing the bounce rate.

These additions to FoxSports.com have led to a 23 percent increase in pageviews and a 37 percent increase in time spent per visitor, as well as a 14 percent decrease in the bounce rate. These are very impressive numbers for just six weeks. If you’re interested in implementing similar user engagement-focused features to your website, give us a call! Robmark Web’s website development team is ready and able to help you reach your website traffic and user engagement goals.

Your Company’s Domain Name Matters

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When starting a business, naming the company is somewhat a game of the chicken or the egg; which came first, the company name or the domain name? When considering a name for your company, you want something easy to remember that also describes the business, which is the same as a domain name. Easy enough, right? But, what happens when the name you picked isn’t available as a domain name? As of March 31, 2015, there are 294 million registered domain names, with registrations growing 6.5% every year. This means available online real estate is quickly decreasing, forcing entrepreneurs to choose more unique domain names to prevent stepping over any legal lines. When considering a domain name for your business there are several aspects you need to consider, including availability, the attractiveness, the ability to pronounce, SEO rank-ability, and extensions.

First, crosscheck your company’s name across the Internet, including on social media platforms, to make sure no one else is using it. It’s also important to consider cyber-squatters. Cyber-squatters register pre-established domain names across different extensions to profit off of the traffic. Established companies should consider buying popular misspellings of their brand, as well as different extensions to avoid cyber-squatters.

Next, you should consider the impression you want to give. New companies can opt for a branded domain, which could give some indication on what the company does, like Travelocity. Or, you can tap into human curiosity and go with something less direct, but easy to remember, like Kayak. Keep in mind that Millennials and Baby Boomers are attracted to different things so it is important to consider your demographic when coming up with a domain or company name.

According to Nielsen research, 84% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations above all advertising. Think short and catchy, something easy to pronounce. The days of keyword-rich domain names are no more. Not only does Google prioritize shorter URLs, but also users are more likely to refer to companies with catchy names that are easy to spell and don’t require hyphens.

Though .com is still the number one choice for a domain extension, there are now generic top-level domains that can help companies describe their service, such as .travel. Not only could this help describe your service, but also it can add some personalization and make it stand out in the industry. Remember when Overstock.com switched to O.co?

Buying a domain name is the first step in building a brand. Start your entrepreneurial journey on the right foot by considering the above. Need assistance choosing a domain name? Robmark Web’s team of SEO specialists and website designers are happy to assist you in finding the perfect fit.

From AdWords to Zeitgeist, Google Alphabet is Here

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Google started as a search engine in the late 1990s, and over time it has evolved into a multi-international technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products. Some of Google’s services include search, online advertising technologies, software, cloud computing, social networking, mobile operating systems, and so much more! Because of the large growth and diversity of Google’s products, as well as the growth and change that is constant within the industry, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have decided to make the company cleaner and more accountable by creating a new company called Alphabet.

Instead of Google being the umbrella for hundreds of different products and services, Google’s subsidiary companies, including Google itself, will now become their own companies, with their own CEOs, all housed under the holding company—Alphabet. This restructure will allow each entity to prosper through strong leadership and independence.

Investors need not worry. “Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity,” says Alphabet CEO Larry Page, “and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with the same rights. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. Our two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.”

Alphabet is not only beneficial for the companies involved, but it also allows the holding company to venture into areas that might be unlikely for Google, and allows Page and Brin to stay in control of the bigger picture of the company they founded almost 17 years ago. This new found freedom could be world-changing.