Jan 2023

SEO and Ecommerce Optimization: How Do You Optimize Ecommerce

SEO and Ecommerce Optimization: How Do You Optimize Ecommerce

SEO, SEO Marketing, and Ecommerce Optimization are all crucial aspects of improving your online presence and driving sales for your ecommerce or bricks-and-clicks business. By optimizing various elements of your website, such as your product listings, navigation, and product photos, you can deliver a better user experience for your customers and increase leads and sales for your business. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to optimize your ecommerce store to maximize sales for your business.

Create Clear Intuitive SEO Driven Navigation

Step 1: Create a clear and easy-to-use navigation. Your website’s navigation is the backbone of your site and plays a critical role in how users move around and find your products. If your navigation is disorganized and difficult to use, it will discourage your audience and lead them to leave your site. To create effective navigation, organize your products into categories and use broad headings to make it easy for shoppers to find what they need. Additionally, continually test and optimize your navigation to ensure it delivers the best experience for your audience.

To create effective navigation, organize your products into categories and use broad headings to make it easy for shoppers to find what they need.

 

Use SEO Focused Keywords in Product Listings

Step 2: Beef up your product listings. Product listings are a crucial component of ecommerce optimization, as they determine whether or not customers will purchase your products. To create an optimized product listing, use a descriptive product title,

Beef up your product listings. Product listings are a crucial component of ecommerce optimization, as they determine whether customers will purchase your products. To create an optimized product listing, use a descriptive product title, provide important product details, and add product options if available

provide important product details, and add product options if available.

By providing an in-depth and informative listing, you’ll help prospects feel more informed about your products, increasing the likelihood of a sale.

 

Optimized Your Product Listings

Step 3: Add high-quality product photos. Product photos play a critical role in helping your business sell products online, as they provide customers with a visual representation of your products. To optimize your product listings, add high-quality photos that provide your audience with details about what you offer. Take pictures of your product from every angle, including images of your product in use or on a model.

Add high-quality product photos. Product photos play a critical role in helping your business sell products online, as they provide customers with a visual representation of your products. To optimize your product listings, add high-quality photos that provide your audience with details about what you offer. Take pictures of your product from every angle, including images of your product in use or on a model.

Utilize SEO and SEO Marketing

Step 4: SEO and SEO Marketing are essential for driving traffic to your website and increasing sales. Use keywords in your product titles, descriptions, and meta tags to make it easier for customers to find your products in search engines. Additionally, use backlinks and meta descriptions to increase your website’s visibility and attract more customers to your site.

SEO Optimization Influences Site Speed and Responsiveness

Step 5: Optimize your website’s speed and mobile responsiveness. With the rise of mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. A slow-loading website or one that’s not mobile-friendly can discourage customers and lead to lost sales. Use tools like Google’s Page Speed Insights to test your website’s speed and mobile responsiveness, and make any necessary adjustments to improve the user experience.

Customer Reviews Contribute to SEO Optimization

Step 6: Use customer reviews and ratings. Customer reviews and ratings are a great way to build trust and credibility with potential customers. Encourage your customers to leave reviews and ratings for your products, and make sure to respond to any negative reviews in a timely manner. Additionally, use customer reviews and ratings as part of your product listings to help prospects make an informed decision about purchasing your products.

Use Retargeting and Remarketing

Step 7:  Retargeting and Remarketing are powerful tools that allow you to target customers who have previously visited your website but haven’t made a purchase.

Use retargeting and remarketing to remind customers of the products they’ve viewed, and provide them with incentives to return to your site and make a purchase.

In conclusion, ecommerce optimization is an essential process for improving your website and driving sales for your business. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can optimize your ecommerce store to deliver a better user experience for your customers, increase leads and sales, and improve your online presence through SEO and SEO Marketing

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does SEO work for eCommerce?

SEO for eCommerce works in a similar way to SEO for any other type of website, but there are some specific considerations that need to be taken into account. Here are a few key strategies for optimizing an eCommerce site for search engines:

Product Optimization: Ensure that your product pages are optimized for search engines by including relevant keywords in the title tags, meta descriptions, and body content. Use high-quality images, videos, and other multimedia content to enhance the user experience.

Category Optimization: Optimize your category pages by including relevant keywords in the title tags, meta descriptions, and body content. Use breadcrumb navigation to make it easy for users and search engines to understand the structure of your site.

Blogging: Create a blog on your eCommerce site and publish high-quality, informative content that is relevant to your products and target audience. This will not only help to attract backlinks, but it can also help to drive traffic to your site.

Navigation: Make sure your site is easy to navigate, both for users and search engines. Use a clear and simple navigation structure, and include a sitemap to make it easy for search engines to crawl your site.

Site Speed: Make sure your site loads quickly, especially on mobile devices. Site speed is an important ranking factor for search engines, and it can also help to improve the user experience.

Schema Markup: Use schema markup to help search engines understand the structure and content of your site. This will make it more likely that your pages will appear in rich snippets and other enhanced search results.

Mobile Optimization: Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and responsive to different screen sizes. With more and more people using mobile devices to browse the internet, mobile optimization is essential for SEO.

Reviews and Ratings: Encourage customers to leave reviews and ratings on your products. Positive reviews can help to increase the visibility and credibility of your products in search engine results.

It’s important to note that SEO for eCommerce is a long-term process, and it requires consistent effort and optimization to achieve the best results. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that SEO is a dynamic field, the best practices and the algorithm are constantly changing. Therefore, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in order to achieve the best results.

Is SEO worth it for eCommerce?

SEO is worth it for eCommerce. SEO is all about making sure your website is visible to potential customers when they are searching for products or services that you offer. For eCommerce businesses, this means making sure that your website appears at the top of search engine results when people are searching for the products you sell. This can help you drive more targeted traffic to your site, which can lead to more sales and revenue.

SEO is also an effective way to increase the visibility of your brand, which can help to build trust and credibility with potential customers. This is especially important for eCommerce businesses, which may not have a physical storefront that customers can visit.

Additionally, SEO can also help you to gain a competitive advantage over other eCommerce businesses. The more visible your website is in search engine results, the more likely it is that customers will choose to buy from you instead of your competitors.

SEO is not an one-time process, it requires consistent effort and optimization to achieve the best results. It’s also important to note that SEO is a dynamic field, the best practices and the algorithm are constantly changing. Therefore, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in order to achieve the best results.

Overall, investing in SEO can be a valuable investment for eCommerce businesses, as it can help to drive more targeted traffic and sales to your website.

What are the 4 types of SEO?

The four types of SEO are technical SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and local SEO.

Technical SEO refers to the optimization of the technical aspects of a website, such as the structure, coding, and performance, to improve its visibility and accessibility to search engines.

On-page SEO focuses on optimizing the content and elements on a website, such as meta tags, keywords, and header tags, to improve its relevance and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Off-page SEO involves optimizing elements outside of the website, such as building backlinks, social media engagement and online reputation management, to improve the authority and trustworthiness of a website.

Local SEO is a specialized form of SEO that targets local audiences by optimizing a website for specific geographic locations. This often involves creating and optimizing local listings and citations, as well as building local backlinks.

What is the golden rule of SEO?

The golden rule of SEO is to create high-quality, relevant, and valuable content that satisfies the needs and intent of users while also adhering to best practices for technical SEO. This includes optimizing your website’s structure, code, and performance to make it easily crawlable and indexable by search engines, as well as using relevant keywords and meta tags to improve the relevance and visibility of your content in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Additionally, it’s important to create a great user experience on your website, with easy-to-use navigation, fast loading times, and mobile-friendliness.

It’s also important to pay attention to the off-page SEO factors such as building authority and trust through backlinks from reputable websites and leveraging social media to increase visibility and drive traffic.

In summary, the golden rule of SEO is to create high-quality content that is technically sound, relevant, and user-friendly, that is promoted and shared on the web in an ethical way.

How do beginners do SEO?

Here are some steps beginners can take to do SEO:

Understand the basics of how search engines work: Before you can optimize your website for search engines, you need to understand how they work. Learn about how search engines crawl and index websites, as well as how they determine the relevance and authority of a website.

Research keywords: Use keyword research tools to identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for. Use these keywords in your content, meta tags, and URLs to improve the relevance of your website.

Optimize your website’s structure and code: Make sure your website’s structure and code are clean, organized, and easily crawlable by search engines. Use header tags, alt tags, and meta tags to provide context and structure to your content.

Create high-quality, relevant content: Create valuable and informative content that is relevant to your target audience. Use the keywords you’ve researched in your content, but don’t stuff them in unnaturally.

Build backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. They indicate to search engines that other websites find your content valuable and trustworthy. Reach out to other website owners and ask them to link to your website, or create content that is so good, people will want to link to it naturally.

Monitor and track your progress: Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your website’s traffic, ranking, and backlinks. This will help you understand how your SEO efforts are impacting your website’s visibility and performance.

Stay up to date with the latest SEO best practices and guidelines: SEO is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest best practices and guidelines from search engines.

Be patient: SEO takes time, it’s not a quick fix. It can take several months to see significant results, so be patient and continue to improve your website’s SEO over time.

How much should a beginner SEO cost?

The cost of SEO for beginners can vary widely depending on the scope of the project and the services provided. Some factors that can impact the cost of SEO include the size and complexity of the website, the level of competition in the industry, and the level of expertise required to improve the website’s visibility and performance.

Here are a few different options for beginners to consider:

DIY SEO: For those who are on a tight budget or who want to learn more about SEO, there are many resources available online that can help beginners understand the basics of SEO and implement basic optimization techniques on their own. This can be done for free or with minimal cost.

Hiring a freelance SEO specialist: Freelance SEO specialists can provide basic optimization services at a relatively low cost. They might charge anywhere from $25 to $100 per hour depending on their level of experience, and can help with tasks such as keyword research, meta tag optimization, and link building.

Hiring an SEO agency: Hiring an SEO agency can be more expensive, but can also provide more comprehensive services. An agency can help a beginner with both technical and content optimization and can also manage and track progress for a client. Prices for agencies vary widely, but an hourly rate of $75-$200 is common, and a monthly retainer can range from $500 to $5000 or more depending on the services provided, the size of the website, and the level of competition in the industry.

It’s important to note that SEO is a ongoing process and the costs should be seen as an investment. The costs will depend on the goals and the size of the project, but it’s important to find a provider that is transparent and clear about their pricing and what you can expect to get for your money.

What should you not do in SEO?

Here are a few things to avoid when doing SEO:

Keyword stuffing: Overusing keywords in your content, meta tags, and URLs can make your website seem spammy and unreadable to both users and search engines. Instead, use keywords naturally in your content and focus on creating high-quality, relevant, and valuable content.

Buying backlinks: Buying backlinks from low-quality websites can harm your website’s visibility and performance in search engine results pages (SERPs). Instead, focus on building backlinks naturally by creating valuable and informative content that other website owners will want to link to.

Cloaking: This is a technique where the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser. This is considered a black hat SEO practice and search engines will penalize or de-index your website if they find it.

Hidden text or links: Hiding text or links on your website with the intent of manipulating search engine rankings is considered a black hat SEO practice and is also against search engine guidelines.

Duplicate content: Copying and pasting content from other websites onto your own can harm your website’s visibility and performance in SERPs. Instead, create unique and original content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience.

Not following search engine guidelines: Search engines like Google have guidelines for webmasters, and it’s important to follow them to avoid penalties or de-indexing of your website.

Not monitoring and tracking your progress: Using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can help you understand how your SEO efforts are impacting your website’s visibility and performance. Not monitoring your progress can make it difficult to identify and address any issues that may arise.

Not staying up to date with the latest SEO best practices and guidelines: SEO is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest best practices and guidelines from search engines.

 

What is the most effective SEO tactic?

The most effective SEO tactic is creating high-quality, relevant, and valuable content that satisfies the needs and intent of users while also adhering to best practices for technical SEO. High-quality content that is informative, useful, and relevant to the user, will help increase engagement, reduce bounce rates and increase the chances of it being shared, which all lead to better rankings.

Here are a few specific tactics that can help make your content more effective:

Optimize your content for keywords: Use keyword research to identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for and optimize your content for those keywords. Use them in your headlines, titles, meta tags, and throughout your content, but in a natural way.

Use header tags and subheadings: Use header tags (H1, H2, H3) and subheadings to structure your content and make it easy for users and search engines to understand the main points and topics of your page.

Use images and videos: Images and videos can help make your content more engaging and can also be optimized for search engines.

Optimize your website’s structure and code: Make sure your website’s structure and code are clean, organized, and easily crawlable by search engines. Use header tags, alt tags, and meta tags to provide context and structure to your content.

Build backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites to your website.

 

Nov 2022

Creating Meta Descriptions that Google “Sees”

 

How does Google want you to create meta descriptions? When you are searching for a product or service on Google, have you noticed that for each result there is a title and a description?

That description (e.g., “As a model and custom home builder in West Palm Beach…) is called the meta description. The bolded words are Synergy Homes’ targeted Keywords.   Usually, a website creates one meta description for every website page. Search engines will either use the meta descriptions you provide, or they will write their own version for each webpage.  For the best result, it’s advisable to write your own including your targeted keywords.

What are the elements of an ideal meta description? It’s always best to go to the source when trying to determine what they want.

  1. Google advises against just listing your targeted keywords in the meta description.

 

Notice that this meta description simply lists keywords. Google doesn’t like this and will not reward this webpage with a favorable ranking.

2. Do not just copy the same meta description on every webpage. Think about it. If every page of your website has the same meta description, Google and other search engines are left to think that every page has the same content. That means that all of your products and service must be the same.

3. It is advisable not to just summarize the page in the meta description. Google’s algorithms will summarize the page’s content. Your task is to use targeted keywords to write compelling and grammatically correct descriptions.

4. Don’t make your meta description too short.

 

If your meta descriptions are too short, visitors will not understand what value your site offers and will be reluctant to click on your listing. Every time this happens, you’re losing the opportunity to win new customers/clients.

Those are the fundamental Best Practices. Follow these instructions and you won’t fall out of favor. But just these measures alone will not differentiate you from your competitors. The list below details practices and percent gains when implemented. You’ll notice that separately, each task has a small percentage gain. But if you implement several of them the small gains add up and become significant.

  • Meta description length: Gain a 3.4% higher click through rate for meta description tags that are roughly 119 characters to 135 characters. Meta descriptions that are too long or too short don’t get as many clicks.

 

  • Gain up to a 5.7% increase in click through rates when keywords within your meta descriptions exactly match those used by people when they search for your products or services. This makes perfect sense. If I am searching for a product or service using specific keywords, and I see those exact keywords in your title, description, and URL I am more likely to click over to your website.

 

  • Use Power Words. Include Power Words in your meta descriptions and increase click throughs by approximately 2.18%. Power words carry strong meaning and are used (in marketing) to trigger psychological and emotional responses.

Power words are effective marketing tools because they are persuasive and push people to act.  The action could be to purchase a product, join an email list or click on the title and meta descriptions on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Emotion – Meta titles and descriptions that evoke emotion generate 2% to 3% higher rate of click overs than those that don’t. Moreover, content linked to emotional keywords receive more shares from individuals on social media channels and websites.

Specificity – Create titles and meta descriptions with your specific target audience in mind. You want them to feel as though the content was written specifically for them. Naturally, the word “you” is one of the most persuasive words in a marketer’s arsenal.

Implement these elements in your meta descriptions and you will see an immediate increase in CTR.

Remember, if you neglect to write titles and meta descriptions, search engines will just pull content from your site and make up their own titles and descriptions – and they are never as effective as writing your own.

Also worth noting is that no matter how awfully a site’s meta descriptions are written, websites that have titles and meta descriptions, generate approximately a 5.8% higher click through rate than those that do not.

The Take-Home Message

Identify your target audience, identify each page’s value, research relevant keywords, and use them to write compelling titles and meta descriptions. The aggregation of small percentage gains will increase your search engine ranking.

Need help with title tags, meta descriptions, content creation, SEO, link building, or website redesign?

BOOK A CALL

We’re here to help you.

 

Sep 2022

Why Your Small Businesses Needs a Modern Website Design

BLOG Custom Web Design

When you own a small business, it can be a challenge to generate public interest for your products and services. Advertising for your small business using conventional methods can cost a lot and does not guarantee revenue. A good way to make your business visible to your target demographic is to have a modern website design in 2022. Of course, you will obviously want to generate more traffic to your website. More website visitors means that there will be more potential customers for your business. It is important that your website looks appealing, whether you are selling a product or a service. You want the customers to be curious about you and what you can provide for them. Needless to say, a common element of websites today is that they have a sleek, modern look. You want your business to stand out and attract the eyes of today’s modern consumers. Your website needs to be simple for ease of access yet flexible enough to adapt to modern trends.

What is a Modern Website Design?

When we say modern, it doesn’t have to be futuristic or too outrageous. A modern design appeals to the taste of a majority of people in the modern era. Like every woman’s little black dress, a modern website is long-lasting, versatile, and widely accessible. The simplistic nature of a modern website makes it easier for visitors to navigate, especially when you’re selling products online. Your website has to have a user-friendly interface that can accommodate people with disabilities or impairments.

Another thing to consider about modern websites is that the pages load faster than those of older websites. This has more to do with the technicalities that come with the creation of the website. Consumers that visit your website will be more satisfied if a webpage loads up fast because it saves time.

Let’s say you already have a website for your small business. Is it keeping up with modern online trends? Modern technology changes our lifestyle at a rapid pace and small businesses need to keep up with these changes too.

Advantages to Having a Modern Website Design

  1. It Makes a Great First Impression

First impressions matter, whether it’s a physical store or an ecommerce site. When you walk inside a place of business, you’ll notice that the ambiance will leave a lasting impression on you. A website’s homepage is the online storefront of your business, and it will make an impression on potential customers. Enlisting the help of companies that offer professional web design services is the first step toward your goals. Professional web designers will help you create a modern website that fits your business’ aesthetic. Not to mention, having professionals help with website management can save you time for more important business matters. Modern websites are also accessible by phone or tablet, so they can work well on any device. Your visitors can have a great first impression of your business that will boost your appeal.

  1. You Have More Control

Having your own modern website allows you to control what people see. You direct your audience’s attention to certain services or products that will be beneficial to them. The ability to control the general appearance of your website is yours alone. You have the final say on the content you want or make any type of change you see fit. If you want to appeal to a certain demographic, design your website according to their preferences.

Solely relying on a third-party website like social media can have drawbacks, especially for a small business. You don’t own the social media platform, therefore you don’t control your business’ visibility. Other third-party websites only offer limited accessibility and can’t cover the entirety of your business. The goal of having your own website is to let your audience have access to your business and your services.

  1. A Modern Website Garners Credibility

When your small business has its own website, it lends credence to your online business branding. You grow your brand online, gain the consumer’s trust, and in turn, increase your credibility. Many small businesses have grown exponentially just by having a simple, modern look on their website. You get to show your customers that you, as a brand, can stay up-to-date with the latest technology.

Website designs that are simple and easy to use make your customers feel at ease while browsing around. By having a modern website, you are showing that you have the ability to adapt to modern changes. New technological trends can change the look and feel of your website. Adding different functions that encourage customer engagement can help boost your credibility as a business.

  1. Modern Websites Provide Accessibility

Gone are the days when people needed to leave their homes to visit commercial establishments. These days, people tend to check a business’ online store if something is available before deciding to make a purchase. Some people prefer to shop online, and others book services online rather than make a call. When your website lists the service that a customer needs, you open the door for online marketing for your business.

A lot of people prefer the convenience that a business website provides. If a person can’t leave their home because of a medical condition, an easily accessible modern website is a blessing. Not only will you gain more customers, but you’re also helping existing customers have easy access to your services.

  1. It Helps Expand Your Business Reach

When you’re starting out as a small business, it may be challenging to get the word out about your business. Having a modern website will help expand your reach as it provides a “branch” for your business on the web. You can take advantage of social media sites with millions of users to steer traffic towards your website. It’s a great modern marketing strategy to post interesting articles on social media that will grab your target demographic’s attention. A lot of modern websites also come with links to various social media platforms to interact with their consumers. You even have the option to add blog posts to your website. Blogs help educate your target demographic about various topics relating to your business. You can attract consumers from all over the country once you have a modern website for your small business.

  1. A Modern Website Ensures Long-Term Success

Billions of people use the internet to shop for products or services. Today’s digital world is ever-changing, trends come and go, and new technologies evolve. A modern website guarantees flexibility to these changes, and your small business will grow exponentially. The beauty of modernity when it comes to managing a website is that you can make changes whenever you want.

Once you’ve made the decision to set up a modern website, there are some factors you may need to consider. Business trends tend to change over the years, sometimes even over the course of a few months. Running a website is no easy task, and having professional help will ensure that your website runs seamlessly.

Why Set up a Design for Your Website?

Most modern businesses rely heavily on their website to attract new clients. The website must fit what you’re offering to your customers. An interactive website will appeal more to your target demographic than a bland website with few features. You can also rest assured that the visitors you get on your website will most likely be potential customers. Most online users prefer to make transactions online rather than go to a physical establishment. Think of it like you’re decorating your business offices — you’d want to design it to fit your brand. There will be less confusion as to what exactly your business entails, or what your brand is all about. You want your target demographic to feel at ease when viewing your website.

What Elements Do the Best Modern Websites Have?

You’re ready to have a modern website for your small business, but you don’t know where to begin? Many key elements go with website building, and there are so many features to choose from. It takes less than a second for online users to make a judgment on your website. That being said, your website must have these features:

  • Security

Unlike older websites, modern websites are regularly updated with plugins and software that ensure the security of your domain. You won’t have to worry about your website being hacked, and it lessens the risk of compromised data. Additionally, having a secure website will make your consumers trust that their information is safe with your business. Gaining the consumer’s trust means they’re likely to recommend your growing business to other potential customers.

However, maintaining the security of a business, whether it’s a physical store or an ecommerce site, goes both ways. You’ll also need to ensure that you employ staff that you can trust with your company or business information.

  • Integrated SEO

SEO or search engine optimization is valuable for all websites. It makes your small business’ website easier to search on the internet using any search engine available. Knowing what keywords your target demographic searches for online will contribute to your website’s visibility. Modern websites have tools and plugins in place that ensure your website is easier to find. When a person searches for a keyword related to your business, your website may be first on the list. It would take hours to delve deeper into every nuance of the keywords used in SEO. Suffice it to say that making your website optimized for SEO can bring more people to your website. When you take advantage of this, you can maximize your business’ potential for the top position in search engine rankings.

  • Designed to Be Responsive

Modern websites have built-in features that allow the consumers to interact with the business. Most people access websites through handheld devices such as phones or tablets, and your website needs to be flexible. Your target demographic may have questions that they want to ask about your business, so what do you do? You have several options, such as displaying your phone numbers and email or having them leave a message using a form. Another convenient way is to have a chat box on your website. Modern websites can have plugins that enable their customers to chat directly with a representative from your business. Responsiveness is an integral part of your website as it saves both you and the consumers time and energy.

  • Reviews, Recommendations, and Testimonials

As previously mentioned, it’s important to build trust with your consumers to inspire loyalty. When running a business website, you want consumers to have a way to voice their opinions about your service. Letting them leave reviews and testimonials can help improve your business strategies. When they leave a good review, display it on your website so others can see that you’re a trustworthy business.

Having an option to recommend your services to other potential consumers is also necessary. Extremely satisfied consumers may want to recommend your products or services to people that they know. Modern websites can make this easier by putting up a convenient form for them to fill out.

  • A Map to Your Business

There will be times when a website visitor may want to visit your place of business. Simply listing your address on the website is not enough. You want to lead your target demographic directly to your place by having a convenient map displayed on the website. Whether you have a small business or a well-established one, you should have clear directions to your business. This will help save time and energy, and prevent your potential client from getting lost along the way.

  • Personalized Content

You don’t want your modern website to have generic content that you can see on any other website. Remember that you are building your brand for your small business online. Your website should embody what your online business is offering, be it a specific product or a service.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your content should not sound robotic. Remember that it’s more challenging to convey your message through written words since they don’t convey your tone of voice. Try to make the content as though you are speaking in person with your target demographic. Keep it friendly, empathic, and respectful, without compromising the quality of your personalized content.

  • Open to Diversity

In this modern age, it’s commonplace to see a diverse culture of people running a business online. Are you an owner of a small business that employs people from multiple cultures? Your modern website should also show that you are open to diversity by displaying multicultural photos. This will show potential consumers that your business is inclusive of people from various races and cultures. A business with an inclusive mindset is an essential trait to have in these modern times and our ever-changing society.

Being open to diversity doesn’t just involve race, this can apply to gender norms as well. You are showing your target demographic that you do not discriminate when it comes to race, gender, or culture. Other consumers with a multicultural background will also feel comfortable when employing your services.

  • No Ads

While it may seem like a trivial thing to some, it is very beneficial to your business. People can focus more on your website’s content rather than get distracted by countless advertisements. It adds to the clean look of your website, making it look more professional. This also instills confidence in your target demographic because it shows that you value professionalism.

Find People to Help Maintain Your Website

Once you’ve taken advantage of these features for your website, you’ll need people to run the maintenance of your website. With digital marketing becoming more commonplace, there are also more people offering website maintenance for businesses. A website made especially for your business is like a second home for your business on the world wide web. You will need dependable people who are equipped with the skills to meet your needs when building a website. There’s also the question of how cost-effective the services are and how fast they can work to meet your demands.

What We Offer:

Sapient eCommerce specializes in developing modern websites to meet the unique needs of businesses, big or small. Our web design experts will coordinate with you to choose which modern website layout fits your business aesthetics the best. Whether your small business is an online shop or you’re offering specialized services, we are here for you!

We will be your partners in growing your small business and help you maintain a modern website with these services:

  • Custom Website Design
  • eCommerce Website Development
  • Web Hosting
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Graphic Design
  • Video Production
  • Social Media Management
  • Order Fulfillment

Our team of expert web designers specializes in WordPress-powered websites that are flexible enough to fit any business industry. You can trust our web development and SEO marketing strategies to help you achieve your business goals. We also have teams dedicated to keeping your modern website well-maintained so it can adapt to shifts in trends. Contact us so you can speak with our specialist about your preferences for your business website. You have the freedom to choose what elements to include with our tailor-made web development services!

 

 

Aug 2022

How Construction Equipment Rental Companies Cash in on E-commerce

While e-commerce can initially seem threatening for commercial and industrial machinery and construction equipment rental companies, dealers, OEMs, and aftermarket supplier partners, it’s a major opportunity to meet their customers where they’re at.

Construction Equipment Rental

About three-quarters of all B2B buyers begin their buying process with a generic search for a type of product.  Gearflow

 

Here’s a dose of reality for anyone who still thinks e-commerce in the construction equipment industry is unnecessary: Contractors today do not shop the way they used to.

And it’s not that it’s changing; it has already changed.

Since 2016, millennials have made up most of the workforce.

Why does that matter? Two main reasons:

1)     As digital natives, millennials start their B2B procurement process differently. They begin with an online search, no matter the product or industry.

2)      Millennials, the oldest of whom are turning 40 this year, are increasingly the decision-makers in their organizations. According to a Merit study, up to 73% of all B2B buyers are now millennials.

While that can initially seem threatening for construction equipment rental companies, dealers, OEMs, and aftermarket supplier partners, it’s a major opportunity to meet their customers where they’re at, says Jimmy Mansker, global director of e-commerce for CNH Industrial.

“It is really important for us to think about the end customer and how we can help them become more efficient when dealing with equipment repairs and speed up the time to get them back to the job site,” Mansker says.

Construction e-commerce opens up the potential for rental companies and dealers to add value, at a time when supply chain disruptions have compounded costly downtime and fleet manager views about their dealers’ abilities to help them have diminished in the past two years.

Offering online services won’t diminish a distributor’s relationship with their contractor customers, Mansker says. It will enhance it.

“The way we look at e-commerce is changing,” he says. “It’s a service that the customer has come to expect.”

Having an e-commerce presence on multiple online channels is important because it provides a more comprehensive service for customers. Gearflow

 

Speeding Up Procurement

The widespread digital shift in B2B buying habits is not only affecting millennials.

According to Google, almost three-quarters of all B2B buyers begin their buying process with a generic search for a type of product. In fact, by the time they reach out to their rental company or dealer, they already have a pretty good idea of what they need.

Research shows that in today’s world of online research, an estimated 70% of the buying decision is made before a customer ever contacts a vendor, regardless of whether it results in an online or offline purchase.

But this does not mean that contractors do not want their rental companies or dealers involved, Mansker says.

“They’re better educated to talk to the dealer,” he says. “The customer still wants the dealer to lead the process — they want the dealer engaged.”

Mansker says contractor customers also want to know pricing, availability and the time it will take to get their parts or equipment, including whether their order can be shipped or picked up at their nearest location on the same day. The more information the rental company or dealer can provide online, the faster the contractor can get to the point of purchase.

“I think everyone’s getting used to faster transactions in your everyday life, whether I’m buying on Amazon, and it takes me three seconds to buy something, or I go to McDonald’s, and they have three different drive-thru lanes,” Mansker says. “Everything that’s being done in retail from a technology perspective is driving that faster transaction expectation.”

The equipment distributor is also in a prime position to provide that information based on their experience and knowledge, because contractors would rather turn to them over one of the industry-agnostic e-commerce giants, such as Amazon and eBay.

“Our advantage over Amazon is related to returns,” Mansker says. “That’s because when a buyer looks up a part, you need the assembly and build information to be able to decide. Amazon doesn’t have that — they have whatever some supplier has told them.”

This is a key area where distributors can differentiate themselves online, he says.

“We are making sure that when we create online experiences for customers, we’re getting them to the equipment or part that they’re looking for and making sure that we’re giving good information,” Mansker says. “But we’re tying it to the dealer, so they always know that their dealer is the ultimate expert and the ultimate solution driver.”

E-commerce can provide deeper insights into customer buying behavior and fleet maintenance needs, allowing rental companies and dealers to assist contractors more proactively. Gearflow

 

Creating Flexibility

The other major benefit is that e-commerce offers contractors more options.

“It provides OEMs and dealers the opportunity to continue to connect with their end users in the way they want to shop,” Mansker says. “Some contractors prefer the self-service method, and e-commerce gives them that flexibility while allowing them to still engage with their dealer to ensure they get the correct parts and equipment.”

Having an e-commerce presence on multiple online channels, including both brand sites and marketplaces is also important because it provides a more comprehensive service for customers.

Earlier this year, CNH Industrial partnered with Gearflow, the largest parts marketplace built for the construction equipment industry. This partnership will allow CNH and its dealers to better address the needs of their mixed fleet customers, making it easier for them to shop for parts on one platform, while still maintaining the relationships they’ve developed.

“Marketplaces give the end users the ability to simplify purchasing for a job site,” Mansker says. “We are very interested in ways that simplify customers doing business with our dealers and supporting our dealers in doing this.”

Daniele Maggiolini, global head of business development for CNH Industrial, says marketplace participation can help contractors fulfill orders that their dealers may not be able to, due to the age of the machine or availability of inventory. This demonstrates that they care about their customers’ productivity and success, he says.

“We’re focusing on what really matters for our customers, which is their uptime, convenience, and experience,” Maggiolini says. “So, we’re trying to shift our focus from purely being product-based to offering solutions.”

E-commerce can also provide deeper insights into customer buying behavior and fleet maintenance needs, allowing rental companies and dealers to assist contractors more proactively, he says.

“When we look at the value that we bring to our customers and how we want to build a customer-centric approach, first we need to develop a better understanding of our customers,” Maggiolini says.

This includes offering communication and purchasing tools based on customer preference, such as the capability for contractors to text orders or ask questions via instant message.

“These are big pieces on the horizon that can allow dealers to support the end users directly from a website,” Mansker says. “The ability to understand new technology and how it can increase efficiencies on the job site is another huge opportunity.”

Ultimately, e-commerce strengthens the symbiotic relationship between the equipment distributor and the contractor — the rental company or dealer reinforces its position as an integral partner that the contractor will continue to rely on for years to come.

“Part of the vision for e-commerce is that this is one way we can help dealers keep their service bays full,” Mansker says. “Over time, we can then use e-commerce to create tools to connect end users to the full suite of offerings that dealers have in their locations.”

Source: Karen Scally at Gearflow

 

Contact Us and Cash in on all the benefits of eCommerce CLICK HERE

 

 

Mar 2022

How to Implement a Local SEO Strategy

How to Implement a Local SEO Strategy

Smartphone showing local SEO Buttons
How to Implement a Local SEO Strategy
15 minute read

Understanding the elements of local SEO and implementing them are two totally different things. Here are a few actionable practices.

1. Creating a Google My Business Profile

Google My Business
Google My Business Listing for Local SEO

Creating your Google My Business Profile should be a top priority for every small business. Why? They hold the most weight in how customers will view your business and how to find you. Let’s take a look at an example to better understand this principle.

Assume that someone interested in creating a local search engine optimization strategy is running a computer repair services business in West Palm Beach, Florida. The company is called ABC Computer Repair Services. The idea behind the strategy is to appear on the search engine results page (SERP) when customers search for phrases like computer repair shops near me, computer repair in West Palm Beach, ABC Computer Repair Services phone number, and other similar phrases.

These phrases, however, are optimized for better placements because Google will display results from Google My Business as a card-like result toward the top. This is known by experts as Service in Locations, or SiLs The idea here is to create phrases in this type of format by combining the products or services a company offers with important keywords. A great way to search for ideas is to visit Google directly and enter some of the aforementioned phrases (but tailored to your business). Google will generate an autocomplete for suggested searches.

2. Begin Your Keyword Research

An additional tool that can provide insight as to what others are using and how they rank is to research phrases and words using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. The tool is highly effective not only in looking at search volume but also in generating possible alternatives. The tool is free to use and should be in the arsenal of items that every person looking to perform local SEO has at their disposal. You can also search online for countless tools that analyze how competitors rank using specific keywords. Try this with similar businesses in other geographical areas. This will give an idea of which words are important.

3. Optimize for Other Search Engines

Local SEO— and pretty much any SEO—is centered around Google. Therefore, interested parties need to use all resources that Google provides, including Google My Business. Make use of the similar tools provided by Bing Local and Apple Maps. Complete NAP and citations as indicated at the beginning of the article. Keep in mind that these are critical to ranking high in local searches, so take your time and ensure that the information is complete and updated. 

4. On-Page Optimization for Small Business Owners

Once citations and NAP have been set up, the business should continue the progress of optimizing for local results by creating landing pages for each location the business may have. For example, our West Palm Beach computer store could create pages like

yourdomain.com/westpalmbeach and yourdomain.com/jupiter. These should be location-specific landing pages. Do not create the same landing page using different keywords or terms, as Google will catch on and penalize the company.

Google’s latest update uses geo-tracking to infer the location of the company. Therefore, a businesses’ primary location should be optimized on the home page. This means that name, address, and phone number should be displayed on the main page along with an embedded Google Map. Other relevant information that can increase the visibility locally includes reviews and testimonials and relevant markup.

6. Updating existing content

As you update content throughout your site, keep in mind that you should also update your title tags and meta descriptions to reflect your local keyword research. Depending on the number of pages this can take a great deal of time, but there are tools that can make the process easier.

5. Building Backlinks

After the site has been optimized for location, the organization should focus on link signals and developing a link-building strategy. Most small businesses opt for SEO companies to perform their backlink efforts, but you don’t have to.

Continuing with the example of a computer services business, the company can create useful local resources that are valuable to those needing services. For example, the business can create a quick guide to fix the most common computer viruses. Make sure that the location is mentioned naturally in the text of the guide. Along with this quality content, engage in link building by creating guest blog posts. These are among the best ways to obtain a high-quality link.

Local SEO & Small Business SEO FAQs

Still have questions regarding local search rankings? We have answers.

What is local SEO vs SEO?

When it comes to optimizing your website for Google, there are two main schools of thought: local SEO and global SEO. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the key differences before you start any optimization campaigns.

Local SEO is all about optimizing your website for specific geographic locations. This might include optimizing your website for specific keywords that are relevant to your location or adding local business listings to your website. The goal of local SEO is to make your website more visible to local searchers.

SEO, on the other hand, is about optimizing your website for global search. This might include optimizing your website for keywords that are relevant to your business, but not necessarily location-specific. The goal of SEO is to make your website more visible to global searchers.

There are pros and cons to both local SEO and global SEO. With local SEO, you can target specific geographic locations and potentially get more traffic from local searchers. However, global SEO can reach a larger audience and potentially generate more leads and sales.

Ultimately, the best approach for your business depends on your specific goals and target market. If you’re not sure which approach is best for you, contact a local SEO expert for help.

How much should a small business pay for SEO?

Small businesses should budget around $1,000 – $3,000 per month for SEO services, depending on the competitiveness of their industry and the size of their website. Larger businesses may need to budget more for SEO services, while smaller businesses may be able to get away with spending less. Ultimately, the goal is to have your website show up as one of the top results in a search engine for relevant keywords and phrases.

How long does local SEO take to work?

It can take a while for local SEO to take effect, depending on the competitiveness of your industry and the strength of your competition. Generally, though, you should start to see results in the form of increased website traffic and leads within six to twelve months.

How do I set up a Google My Business Lists?

Setting up a Google My Business Lists is a great way to keep track of your business locations and hours. To create a listing, follow these steps:

  1. Sign into your Google My Business account.

  2. Click the Locate Business button.

  3. Click the blue Add link in the Lists section.

  4. Enter a name for your list and click Create.

  5. To add a business location to your list, click the Add link next to the business name.

  6. Remove a business location from your list by clicking the Remove link next to the business name.

  7. To change the order of your list, drag and drop the business locations.

  8. Edit the information for a business location by clicking the Edit link.

  9. To delete a business location from your list, click the Delete link.

  • When you’re finished, click the Save button.

How do I increase my odds of appearing in a Local Pack on Google?

There is no one definitive answer to this question, as the Local Pack is determined by a variety of factors, including the search engine’s own algorithm and the user’s search intent. However, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of appearing in a Local Pack:

  • Make sure your business is listed in Google My Business (your GMB listing).

  • Make sure your business’s information is accurate and up-to-date.

  • Include high-quality photos of your business and its products or services.

  • Create a strong local SEO strategy, including keyword research and link building.

  • Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on Google and other online platforms.

If you follow these tips and continue to put the needs of your customers first, you should see an increase in your chances of appearing in a Local Pack.

Should my small business hire an SEO agency?

Yes, a small business should hire an SEO agency. A good SEO agency can help a small business increase its website traffic, which can lead to more customers and increased sales. An SEO agency can also help a small business improve its search engine rankings, which can result in more website visitors who are interested in what the small business has to offer. You can schedule an initial conversation with one of our SEO experts here.

How does social media affect local SEO?

Social media can have a significant impact on local SEO. For example, if you have a local business and you’re actively engaged on social media, you may be more likely to show up in local search results.

Additionally, social media can help you build relationships with local customers and potential customers. This can not only help you attract new customers, but it can also help you better understand your target market.

What is schema markup for local businesses?

Schema markup is a type of code that you can add to your website in order to provide search engines with more information about your business. This information can include things like your business name, address, and phone number. Adding schema markup to your website can help improve your website’s search engine ranking and make it easier for customers to find your business online.

Access schema to boost your local search presence.

How do I find target keywords for my local business?

When it comes to finding target keywords for your local business, there are a few different methods you can use.

One approach is to use Google’s Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to see how often particular keywords are being searched for online. You can also use it to get ideas for other related keywords that you may not have thought of.

Another way to find keywords is to simply think about what your customers might be searching for online. What are the things they might be looking for when they’re looking for a business like yours? Try to think of keywords that are specific to your industry or niche.

Finally, you can also use Google’s Autocomplete feature to get ideas for target keywords. This feature will show you the most popular keywords that people are searching for online. It can be a great way to get ideas for new keywords to target.

How Should I handle a negative review on my GMB page?

If you receive a negative review on your GMB page, the best way to handle it is to respond to the reviewer in a polite and professional manner. Thank them for their feedback and assure them that you are taking their comments seriously. You may also want to consider reaching out to them privately to resolve the issue.

How do I optimize new content for local SEO?

There are a few things you can do to optimize your content for local SEO purposes. First, make sure you include your city and state name in your title and throughout your article. You can also include a map of your location, as well as contact information and a link to your website. Additionally, make sure your website is properly optimized for local SEO. Use relevant keywords and phrases, and include your city and state in your website’s title and description.

How do I optimize local search for multiple local listings?

There are a few things you can do to optimize local search for multiple local listings:

  1. Make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is consistent across all of your listings.

  2. Use the same keywords and phrases in your titles, descriptions, and tags.

  3. Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, and… your

  4. Bing Places for Business listing.

  5. Yahoo! Local listing.

  6. Yelp listing.

  7. Four Square listing.

  8. Yellow Pages listing.

  9. Merchant Circle listing.

  • White Pages listing.

Small Business SEO Can Have a Major Impact on Your Local Organic Traffic

As you optimize for local SEO using local intent, technical SEO ranking factors, your GMB, and your social profile, keep in mind that the process doesn’t happen overnight.

It’s important to note that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to your on-page content. Google has invested countless resources in detecting highly valuable information and ranking such information accordingly. Therefore, focus on creating link-worthy content that others would be eager to read and share.

Also, make sure to update the content regularly, as this indicates to Google that the website is still active and possibly has more valuable information. Finally, remember to measure and track. Do not be afraid to use free tools like Google Analytics to monitor the local search engine results continuously. You can also gain even more insight with paid tools such as Search Atlas.

Looking for the best SEO company for your small business with proven results? Sapient eCommerce specializes in getting SEO results for local small businesses.

Mar 2022

The Connection Between SEO and Social Media?

SEO and Social Media
The SEO and Social Media Connection

Any business that has strong SEO strategies knows the value of social media profiles. This strategy can play an important role in driving rankings up and enhancing your company’s reputation (reputation management). Your social media presence promotes links and content that is shareable and of substance. Google and other search engines notice frequently shared links as a sign of a website’s credibility and popularity, which improves your website’s ranking.

Are you posting fresh social content across all relevant profiles?

Social media signals may have an indirect effect on search engine rankings, yet it plays a significant role in helping companies get their content in front of a larger audience. This in turn, engenders many SEO benefits: building backlinks, improving engagement signals, and staking out favorable ranking for relevant queries.

Additionally, a fundamental understanding of SEO and social media marketing will help your company improve performance on both channels. Target audience research on social media helps create more targeted content. SEO research helps you understand what your social audience wants to read.

What is the relationship between SEO and social media?

We asked our respondents to give us their best tips for making search and social work together, and they delivered with tons of valuable information about:

What is Social SEO?

 

Social SEO refers to the use of social media as an indirect tool to increase your search visibility and organic search ranking.

While social media does not directly impact SEO, the social signals (likes, shares, and comments) generated from people sharing your content on social media channels contribute to building trust and customer loyalty, driving brand awareness and exposure, all of which indirectly helps boost your online visibility and traffic.

To buttress that, two-thirds of our respondents say there is a correlation between social shares and rankings. Another 29% say there isn’t.

10 Reasons Why Social Media is Important in SEO

The impact of social media on SEO is more complicated than a simple yes/no answer can explain.

For example, Shufti Pro’s Damien Martin explains that “Bing certainly ranks pages with more shares higher than pages with fewer shares.” Bing’s Webmaster Guidelines confirm that assertion. So, at least when it comes to Bing, social shares definitely play a part in SEO.

Google, on the other hand, has specifically stated that social media isn’t a direct ranking factor.

But several studies have found that there’s a correlation between social shares and rankings. For example, this 2016 study from cognitive SEO looked at Google rankings alongside social signals (likes, shares, and comments) on four social media sites and found that the top-ranked results had more social signals:

Still, correlation does not equal causation, and the fact that high-ranking pages have lots of social shares doesn’t mean shares have an impact on rankings.

What it likely means is that social media plays a part in SEO—maybe not directly, but definitely indirectly.

As Inspired Agency’s Alex Brown explains: “Does social media directly boost SEO rankings? No, it won’t directly boost any SEO rankings.

So, what is the relationship between social media and SEO then? Social media provides opportunities in content marketing and link building efforts that will help boost your organic rankings.”

So, what are those opportunities? Our respondents explain:

  1. Social Media = Increased Visibility = More Links
  2. Social Can Help You Improve SEO Ranking Signals
  3. Posting on Social Gets Content Indexed Quicker
  4. Social Interaction Data Can Help You Improve Your SEO Content
  5. Social Media Helps Build Search Demand
  6. Social Media Helps You Identify the Audience for Your SEO Content
  7. Social Media is a Great Place to Conduct Keyword Research
  8. Social Media Can Help You Generate New Content Ideas
  9. Social Helps You Claim Owned SERP Real Estate for Branded Queries
  10. Social Drives Traffic While You Wait for SEO

The Importance of SEO for Social Media

While the majority of the responses we received explained how social media helps SEO, several respondents said that SEO helps social media as well.

So, we wanted to learn more on SEO’s relationship with social media. Here are the ways your SEO efforts can help support your social media marketing efforts:

  1. Keyword Research Tells You What Your Followers Want
  2. SEO Best Practices Enable Social Search Success
  3. Technical SEO Leads to Better Social Performance and Tracking
  4. Keyword Research Tells You What Your Followers Want

“SEO done right is all about finding demand based on search,” says Lance Beaudry of Avalanche Creative. “When it comes to content planning and deciding what to post to social media, there’s nothing better than looking at the demand of your target audience.”

“Post about what users are searching for or things related to what they are searching for,” Beaudry says.

Filip Silobod of Honest Marketing agrees: “With SEO, you can find out what people are searching for. Then, use social to tailor your post to promote to the people searching for that information.”

Chris Hornak of Blog Hands recommends “using a tool like AnswerThePublic to uncover questions that are already being searched for on Google.”

And Roberto Severino of Adword Vigilante recommends this process: “Go through 3-4 of your largest competitors, look at some of their top pages in Ahrefs, and run a crawl in Screaming Frog so you can integrate it with Ahrefs’s API.”

“Then, take their top-performing posts and keywords and plug them into that tool, and filter by low difficulty and high search volume.”

“Once you have this done and created the content, it will be much easier to use social media to promote the content and have greater confidence in knowing this is what people have an interest in when it comes to your industry and niche.”

“There’s no second guessing when you approach social media and SEO with a logical, analytical approach like this,” Severino says.

  1. SEO Best Practices Enable Social Search Success

“People use social media networks to not only to initiate communication but also to obtain information,” says Alayna Okerlund of BestCompany.com. “Basically, social media is growing as a unique search engine.”

“In order to help your content rank on major search engines like Google, you conduct keyword research and implement those keywords in your content. Doing the same thing with your social media profiles and posts may prove worthwhile,” Okerlund says.

And including keywords in your social posts can also help you grow the visibility of your social media posts and profile in Google SERPs:

“Certain social platforms are closed so Google can’t actively access the data,” says Sophie Edwards of Click Consult. “However, others—such as Twitter—are not, so you can include keywords in Tweets to help with ranking for social channels.”

However, if you’re going to use keywords in your social posts, G2’s Deirdre O’Donoghue offers some advice: “Don’t ever risk readability for better SEO. It’s imperative that your content keeps the user top-of-mind.”

“Search goes beyond Google,” says MediaSesh’s Christina Brodzky. “Anywhere there is a search box, SEO is there. Social search is no different.”

  1. Technical SEO Leads to Better Social Performance and Tracking

“One of the most important tips for leveraging SEO and social media together is tracking and monitoring how visitors from social media interact with your website,” says Rockay’s Bojan Azap. “Google Analytics and tracking URLs are the key integrals.”

“Some of the most effective SEO techniques involve implementing various schema—whether it be microdata or Javascript/JSON—on the webpages and elements you are trying to rank,” says Steve Yanor of Sky Alphabet Social Media.

“It’s critical that your social properties (bios, outbound links) and the links you share on social that relate to your website are coded properly and test correctly. This means that you have to ensure that your Facebook Pixels, Twitter tracking code, and LinkedIn tracking codes are installed and configured properly.”

“On sites that are not WordPress (Squarespace, Wix), this can be a real problem. LinkedIn has new tracking codes and a new ads manager, so prior to launching any campaign, you need to make sure LinkedIn is receiving the data from your website.”

“This is the only way you will be able to build a custom audience, which is crucial for success over time because with this primary audience you can build lookalike audiences and build frequency as you change up the creative.”

How to Successfully Combine SEO and Social Media For Better Results

To make social media and SEO work together, Gabriella Sannino of Level343 says it’s important to “connect the dots.”

“It’s amazing how many people don’t. They have social accounts but don’t have them on their websites. They set blog posts for sharing but don’t add their social account to the share. They have a blog but never share the blog posts on their social accounts.”

“Make use of the accounts you have, connecting them together to develop a social strategy and increase your brand awareness and reputation,” Sannino says.

So, what are some ways to better connect the dots between SEO and social media efforts? Our respondents offered these tips.

  1. Align Your Content and Social Media Teams

“Too often, SEO and social media activity aren’t linked up because it’s handled by different people or departments,” says Dan Thornton of TheWayoftheWeb. “As a result, the best you can hope for might be a Tweet or Facebook post when a new article is published.”

“But what should happen is that the improvements you’re making for SEO should be supported by regular social media promotions, and vice versa,” Thornton says.

Roger West’s Samantha Simon agrees: “Stop siloing social media and start merging it into your SEO strategy. In today’s digital landscape, social media, and SEO work together.”

  1. Share Your SEO Content on Social Media

“The best way to boost success in both social media and SEO is to share your content across all social media channels,” says Ooma’s Craig De Borba.

Several respondents agree that this is one of the easiest ways to integrate your social and SEO efforts:

  • “Share your new blog posts on all of your social media accounts. This way, the post gains visibility (great for SEO) and your social media accounts become active with valuable and useful information for your target audience.” (Jeremy Lawlor, Active Business Growth)
  • “When users share content from your Facebook Page or Group, it shows that you are an expert, an authority, and a trustworthy source. This helps bolster the momentum of SEO efforts.” (Shannon Doyle, Page 1 Solutions)
  1. Make Sure SEO Content is Optimized for Sharing

“Make sure each piece of content you create includes images that can easily be repurposed on social media,” says CoSchedule’s Ben Sailer.

“This entails creating search-optimized content with social media in mind from the start, with visual assets that can stand on their own with interesting statistics, charts, quotes, or other items that can still make sense outside of their original context within the post.”

“This can help your content succeed both on social media and organic search without a ton of extra effort,” Sailer says.

Chaz Van de Motter of Elite Marketing Studios recommends “taking the blog posts that you use to create inbound leads via SEO and making a YouTube explainer video around that piece of content.”

“From there, you can not only embed the video on your blog to bolster the strength of the SEO, but you can also shorten the video and use it as viral social media content that will, in turn, call your audience to action and bring more traffic back to your blog and website.”

“This approach has helped us increase the time users spend on our site, and it aids in the consistency of our social media content strategy,” Van de Motter says.

And Miguel Piedrafita says that “repurposing existing content in a better medium for social media is a big win. For example, I use Blogcast to automatically generate audio versions of my articles, which I then share on Twitter. I’ve managed to get a lot of engagement and positive feedback with that.”

  1. Cross-Promote on Both Channels

“Cross-promoting and sharing content and media across both social media and SEO is the most effective way to have both shine,” says With Clarity’s Slisha Kanakriya.

One way to cross-promote, as Trickle’s Chris Davis explains, is to “simply assure that each of your social media profiles provides users with a link leading them directly to your website.”

Another, recommended by Andrew Swindlehurst of AHM Installations, is to “embed social media posts and statuses within blog posts and articles. Not only does this link to your social media pages, but it also increases the chances that someone will click and visit them, resulting in a follow, like, or comment.”

“It’s also a good idea to ensure you have a sidebar on your blogs that makes it easy for readers to follow you on social media. By doing this you can easily gain extra followers without having to do much extra work,” Swindlehurst says.

Alexis Soer of Elite Digital agrees and says that “sharing your relevant social media posts via linking to them from your blog posts is a strategic way of taking your target audience to another one of your marketing channels without it being too blatant that this is your goal.”

  1. Make It Easy for People to Share Your Posts

“It’s important to make sure blog posts and content are easy to share,” says Chris Martin of FlexMR. “Pull out important quotes and create links that auto share these quotes to social platforms with a single click.”

“The more frequently an article is shared on social channels (and subsequently visited), the stronger signals it will be sending to search engines.”

  1. Take Advantage of Two-Way Retargeting

“SEO and social media are the one-two punch of marketing, and one tip to use them both is to utilize two-way retargeting,” says Andrew Holland of Zoogly Media. “Two-way retargeting is all about making sure you use both audiences to grow the traffic to the other platform.”

“For example, say you create a viral video for Facebook. The next time you publish an article, you can boost that post to those who engaged with your video. This will give you a great chance to get more traffic to your website from a targeted audience.”

“The reverse applies, too. When you get organic traffic to your website via SEO, you can retarget those people using your Facebook Pixel with content and ads that you create natively on the Facebook platform.”

“Most business owners only focus on retargeting visitors who visit their website. They rarely create assets for the purposes of engagement with the secondary intention of building a retargeting audience.”

Success in Both SEO and Social Starts with Great Content

“Great unique content equals great performance with SEO and social media,” says Shreyash Mishra of Shrex Design.

“Social media is all about engaging with people. The more you do this, the more likely you’ll be ranked higher because people and search engines will both love you.”

“You can engage with your audience by creating and sharing great content, and then leverage that engagement to boost your follower count and search rankings.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Greene writes about marketing, business, and technology for B2B SaaS companies. A former writing instructor and corporate marketer, she uses her subject-matter expertise and desire to educate others as motivation for developing actionable, in-depth, user-focused content.

Mar 2022

Uploading Photos To A Website is as Important as Website Design

Website photos are an important part of your overall website content, and there are several reasons you should keep imagery at the top of your priority list while building a website. As technology continues to develop and proliferate the global internet, more people worldwide are using imagery to learn, remember and disseminate information.

 

USING IMAGES ON YOUR WEBSITE

Importance of Images in Web Design

Photographs add richness to your web design. They do so in two ways. The first is simply another way to clue search engines into how to interpret your content. The second is the human aspect or how people (not search engines) understand your website. Let’s break down what photos do for your site:

 

  1. A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

The adage that a picture paints a thousand words is not far off. People often get tired of reading words and skim through website pages. However, imagery both breaks up the printed text and offers context quickly for those you prefer to skim. A photo can momentarily pull the viewer into the scene they are viewing and help them understand the written text or replace it completely.

 

  1. Partnering a Photo with a Caption

Adding a caption to or inserting the caption within the photo adds value to the image. With a caption, the context of the photo is made clear so the visitor to your site doesn’t have to figure out what they’re seeing. Instead you’re offering them a full-color experience and guiding them to your point with the caption.

  1. High-Quality Photos are a Must

Especially when displaying products, professional photos are crucial. If you want someone to order a product from you, it’s important that they see it, preferably in three dimensions. This can be accomplished with several photos or in 360-degree photo. However, if you want to add some spontaneity to your photographs, you can add some personal photos or on-the-go shots to your blog or newsletter.

 

  1. Use Stock Photos Wisely

Stock photos can be used for general topics or city scenes, but it’s best to use professional original photos as much as possible on your website. You can also add captions to stock photos to personalize them for your content.

 

  1. Be Consistent

Your clients expect a high level of quality from your products; therefore you need to consistently offer the same high quality on your website including your photo content. If customers come to find hit or miss photos, they will be disappointed and may not return. Consistency is also helpful on product pages. People tend to expect all product pages to look the same on a website or at least in each section. If your images, product description and buy button are in the same place on every product page, the customer will be comfortable and confident when shopping. Read more about this on our blog about the importance of user experience.

 

  1. Add Personality

Personality makes photos more interesting, and the best way to add personality is by adding a person (or more than one) to as many photos as possible. Show people working in your company, using your products and if you can, in your product images.

 

  1. Don’t Overwhelm

Websites need to be easy for visitors to navigate. While some of this is covered by your menu and search capabilities, simplifying your page layouts is also helpful. Make it easy for someone to arrive on your page, read the title and the first few lines, and then skim down to see if they want to read more. Putting photos in the same places on each page and using them to describe or display what you are writing about will help your visitors find what they are interested in more quickly.

Images matter because…

Studies show that people remember 80% what they see and only 20% what they read. In fact, there’s research that suggests that 65% of people are visual learners. MIT also found that the human brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds. These and many other statistics favor the idea that images are powerful means of communication. Perhaps, their most important function is that they remove language barriers, as they are easily understood by everyone in the world.

 

On the Internet, images are used for all kinds of reasons: to enhance websites, to illustrate stories, in ad displays, to present products or services, as stand-alone “a picture is worth a thousand words” meaning-rich tools, and sure, on social media.

 

3.2 billion images are shared online every day, according to Brandwatch, many of which “mention” brands without the use of text.  So how do businesses track images featuring their brands? Through “visual listening,” which is essential media monitoring for images. It uses image recognition technology to uncover visual mentions (usually company logos) of a brand and not only watermarks. Visual listening can identify logos on actual objects, like a store sign, or a label on a product. For brands, this can determine social media mentions in all kinds of contexts, including discovering brand advocates, finding out how people are using a product, identifying misuse of the logo, and the list goes on. Brandwatch Image Insights gives a fair idea of how brands can use visual listening to monitor social media.

 

On top of it all, “Generation Y prefers a picture-based method of communicating information rather than a text-based method,” according to a 2010 paper by Soussan Djamasbia, Marisa Siegelb, and Tom Tullisb titled Generation Y, web design, and eye tracking. Generation Y, the Millennials, grew up with technology and the internet and they will soon take over as the most significant segment of consumers, surpassing the baby boomers and Generation X.

 

Top Reasons to Use Images on Your Website

Better user experience: When it comes to websites, images matter because their role is to capture the attention of the visitor. They can convey complex messages in the blink of an eye. Looking at the image of a hotel room, the site visitor can see the décor of the room and some of its amenities without the need of reading lengthy descriptions immediately.

Relevant images – instead of “filler” images that only have the purpose to look pretty – enhance the user experience. They deliver a contextual message, which answers the need for information. Naturally, when guests visit the website of a hotel, they are looking for information and images deliver it quickly and explicitly. An image gallery optimized for stress-free browsing is another UX plus.

Increase dwell time: the time users spend on a website is a user engagement signal for Google and a search ranking factor.

“Basically, Google wants to find unicorns – pages that have extraordinary user engagement metrics like organic search click-through rate (CTR), dwell time, bounce rate, and conversion rate – and reward that content with higher organic search rankings,“ Larry Kim of Wordstream explains.

Images are an integral part of the content strategy of any website. The best images are set above the fold and act as both eye candy and informational tools. They should relate directly to the text of the page, and ideally, they should be original pictures. Stay away from stock clichés as much as you can.

Improve on-site SEO: Provided that the image used matches the text, it will rank better in the image search section of the search engines. And image search matters a lot for traffic to your site. According to research conducted by MOZ and Jumpshot, Google Images counts for 26.79% of US searches, surpassing YouTube.com 3.71% and other Google properties.

                                                                                                                     Source: Jumpshot Moz

SEO for Images

Although Google has already developed image-recognition algorithms and holds several patents for systems and methods for image recognition, optimizing your images for SEO is still a good practice. As the chart above shows, image search can be a great source of traffic. Here are some tips to help boost your rankings in image search:

Always choose an image that matches your text

Image recognition algorithms identify filler images, as well as stock photography, and they will not rank. To see how Google recognizes your image without the need for text, just perform a Google image search and upload a picture instead of typing keywords. In the following example, I used an original image from Mamaison Hotels & Residences. As you can see, Google identifies what the image is, but doesn’t find duplicates. This is good.

In the second example, I used a generic stock photo and gave it a random file name, to see if Google can identify it and find duplicates. As you can see, Google knows exactly what the image is about, and the first result is a duplicate. This is bad because, as you notice, Google only shows one duplicate for “visually similar images” – most likely not the one from the original source. When you click to see “other sizes of this image” you will discover hundreds of results, merely for the purpose to enable users to find the same image in different sizes. This means that hundreds of sites already mirrored that image to illustrate content one way or another.  And the rules that apply to text apply for images too: Google doesn’t like duplicate content. So, stock images do nothing for SEO.

Use smart file names

If you manage to have an original image that pertains to your text, it’s not enough to upload it with a random file name. Although Google can recognize what it is, the best SEO practice is to give it a relevant, smart file name. So, instead of uploading an image straight from your camera, with a file name like IMG_20180205_163530, rename it with keywords that describe its subject, for example, hotel-name-main-lobby.jpg and without stop words (like of, and, the).

Note in the file naming example above the use of a hyphen (-) instead of underscore (_) – that’s because it is a best practice recommendation from Google for URLs and for all kinds of files. The hyphen has the role of separating words, so it makes sense for Google to prefer it.

Use proper alt attributes and title attributes

After you upload the images on your website, you must “describe” them. There are two types of attributes used for SEO and user experience:

  • Alt attribute, which describes the image for the search engines accurately. As you noticed in the previous paragraphs, Google can identify what the image is about, but it cannot identify where it was captured. The alt tag serves to complete the information. For example, if you have an image of a hotel room, the alt attribute would be something like: “The Presidential Room at Hotel X.”
    Use natural language when writing your alt attribute, because this is also displayed by screen readers and used by browsers for the visually impaired. Considering this segment of internet users, always end the text in your alt attribute with a full stop (dot).
  • The advice offered by John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google in 2008, before the image recognition revolution, is still valid, so consider it when you write your alt attributes (erroneously also called alt tags):
    “Feel free to supplement the “alt” attribute with “title” and other attributes if they provide value to your users!
    So, for example, if you have an image of a puppy (these seem popular at the moment :-)) playing with a ball, you could use something like “My puppy Betsy playing with a bowling ball” as the alt-attribute for the image. If you also have a link around the image, pointing a large version of the same photo, you could use “View this image in high-resolution” as the title attribute for the link.”
  • Title attribute, as you noticed in the previous paragraph, is intended as a call to action, and it is used mainly when the image hyperlinks to a different page. It displays when the mouse hovers over the image (only in case of a hyperlink). So far, there’s no proof that Google uses title attributes for rankings. But things may change.

Make use of captions

Captions matter and there’s enough research to support this. According to Kissmetrics:

“Captions under images are read on average 300% more than the body copy itself, so not using them, or not using them correctly, means missing out on an opportunity to engage a huge number of potential readers. (For images above a headline, the headline itself can serve as a caption.)”

Kissmetrics also recommends that you craft your captions with the same care you craft your headlines.

Optimize your images for web use

Besides naming the file right and filling in the proper alt and title attributes, you should also optimize the images for fast loading because page speed is a ranking factor, and because users tend to leave websites that load slowly. So, decrease the file size of your images by saving them for the web with Adobe Photoshop, or using an image compressor like TinyJPG, TinyPNG, toolur, Compressor.io, and others, and use responsive images.

Use the Open Graph protocol for better discoverability

According to the official website, the “Open Graph (OG) protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. It is used typically on Facebook to allow any web page to have the same functionality as any other object on Facebook. “

According to the official website, the “Open Graph (OG) protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. It is used typically on Facebook to allow any web page to have the same functionality as any other object on Facebook. “

The og:image property has some optional structured properties:

· og:image:url – Identical to og:image.

· og:image:secure_url – An alternate URL to use if the webpage requires HTTPS.

· og:image:type – A MIME type for this image.

· og:image:width – The number of pixels wide.

· og:image:height – The number of pixels high.

· og:image:alt – A description of what is in the image (not a caption). If the page specifies an og:image it should

· specify og:image:alt.

 

To conclude, images are useful because they trigger emotions, are easy to understand and transmit information faster than text. According to Dr. Lynell Burmark, images “go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.”

Avoid stock images, images that lack quality, and filler images, and use high-quality original pictures that represent actual places, objects, or beings. Remember that the modern Internet user spends a lot of time sharing, or resharing images, so encourage the practice by adding share buttons for social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on. Add proper descriptions with hashtags to the images designated to encourage sharing. This simplifies the process and saves time for the users while ensuring that your brand is not misrepresented.

We leave you with these facts and statistics that show just how essential images have become on social media:

  • “Users pay attention to information-carrying images that show content that’s relevant to the task at hand. And users ignore purely decorative images that don’t add real content to the page.” (Jakob Nielsen, 2010)
  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets and 18% more clicks than tweets without. (Buffer Social, 2016)
  • Articles with an image once every 75-100 words get double the number of shares of articles with fewer images. (Buzzsumo, 2015)
  • A large percentage (74%) use visual assets in their social media marketing, up from 71% in 2015. (Social Media Examiner, 2016)
  • Organic Facebook engagement is highest on posts with videos (13.9%) and photos (13.7%). (Locowise, 2015)
  • Vision trumps all senses: “Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture, and you’ll remember 65%.” (John Medina)

SOURCE: JUMPSHOT/MOZ

Mar 2022

Clean URL

 

Clean URLs, also sometimes referred to as RESTful URLsuser-friendly URLspretty URLs or search engine-friendly URLs, are URLs intended to improve the usability and accessibility of a website or web service by being immediately and intuitively meaningful to non-expert users. Such URL schemes tend to reflect the conceptual structure of a collection of information and decouple the user interface from a server’s internal representation of information. Other reasons for using clean URLs include search engine optimization (SEO),[ conforming to the representational state transfer (REST) style of software architecture, and ensuring that individual web resources remain consistently at the same URL. This makes the World Wide Web a more stable and useful system, and allows more durable and reliable bookmarking of web resources.

Clean URLs also do not contain implementation details of the underlying web application. This carries the benefit of reducing the difficulty of changing the implementation of the resource at a later date. For example, many URLs include the filename of a server-side script, such as example.php, example.asp or cgi-bin. If the underlying implementation of a resource is changed, such URLs would need to change along with it. Likewise, when URLs are not “clean”, if the site database is moved or restructured it has the potential to cause broken links, both internally and from external sites, the latter of which can lead to removal from search engine listings. The use of clean URLs presents a consistent location for resources to user-agents regardless of internal structure. A further potential benefit to the use of clean URLs is that the concealment of internal server or application information can improve the security of a system.

Table of Contents

  • Structure
  • Implementation
  • Slug

 

Structure

A URL will often comprise a path, script name, and query string. The query string parameters dictate the content to show on the page, and frequently include information opaque or irrelevant to users—such as internal numeric identifiers for values in a database, illegibly encoded data, session IDs, implementation details, and so on. Clean URLs, by contrast, contain only the path of a resource, in a hierarchy that reflects some logical structure that users can easily interpret and manipulate.

Original URL Clean URL
http://example.com/about.html http://example.com/about
http://example.com/user.php?id=1 http://example.com/user/1
http://example.com/index.php?page=name http://example.com/name
http://example.com/kb/index.php?cat=1&id=23 http://example.com/kb/1/23
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Clean_URL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_URL

 

Implementation

The implementation of clean URLs involves URL mapping via pattern matching or transparent rewriting techniques. As this usually takes place on the server side, the clean URL is often the only form seen by the user.

For search engine optimization purposes, web developers often take this opportunity to include relevant keywords in the URL and remove irrelevant words. Common words that are removed include articles and conjunctions, while descriptive keywords are added to increase user-friendliness and improve search engine rankings.

A fragment identifier can be included at the end of a clean URL for references within a page, and need not be user-readable.

 

Slug

Some systems define a slug as the part of a URL that identifies a page in human-readable keywords. It is usually the end part of the URL (specifically of the path / pathinfo part), which can be interpreted as the name of the resource, similar to the basename in a filename or the title of a page. The name is based on the use of the word slug in the news media to indicate a short name given to an article for internal use.

Slugs are typically generated automatically from a page title but can also be entered or altered manually, so that while the page title remains designed for display and human readability, its slug may be optimized for brevity or for consumption by search engines, as well as providing recipients of a shared bare URL with the rough idea of the page’s topic. Long page titles may also be truncated to keep the final URL to a reasonable length.

Slugs may be entirely lowercase, with accented characters replaced by letters from the Latin script and whitespace characters replaced by a hyphen or an underscore to avoid being encoded. Punctuation marks are generally removed, and some also remove short, common words such as conjunctions. For example, the title This, That, and the Other! An Outré Collection could have a generated slug of this-that-other-outre-collection.

Another benefit of URL slugs is the facilitated ability to find a desired page out of a long list of URLs without page titles, such as a minimal list of opened tabs exported using a browser extension, and the ability to preview the approximate title of a target page in the browser if hyperlinked to without title.

Web sites that make use of slugs include Stack Exchange Network with question title after slash, and Instagram with ?taken-by=username URL parameter.

 Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Mar 2022

URL Explained

URL Explained

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator

This article discusses Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), explaining what they are and how they’re structured.

Summary

With Hypertext and HTTP, URL is one of the key concepts of the Web. It is the mechanism used by browsers to retrieve any published resource on the web.

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is nothing more than the address of a given unique resource on the Web. In theory, each valid URL points to a unique resource. Such resources can be an HTML page, a CSS document, an image, etc. In practice, there are some exceptions, the most common being a URL pointing to a resource that no longer exists or that has moved. As the resource represented by the URL and the URL itself are handled by the Web server, it is up to the owner of the web server to carefully manage that resource and its associated URL.

Basics: anatomy of a URL

Here are some examples of URLs:

https://developer.mozilla.org

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Learn/

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/search?q=URL

Any of those URLs can be typed into your browser’s address bar to tell it to load the associated page (resource).

A URL is composed of different parts, some mandatory and others optional. The most important parts are highlighted on the URL below (details are provided in the following sections):

Note: You might think of a URL like a regular postal mail address: the scheme represents the postal service you want to use, the domain name is the city or town, and the port is like the zip code; the path represents the building where your mail should be delivered; the parameters represent extra information such as the number of the apartment in the building; and, finally, the anchor represents the actual person to whom you’ve addressed your mail.

Note: There are some extra parts and some extra rules regarding URLs, but they are not relevant for regular users or Web developers. Don’t worry about this, you don’t need to know them to build and use fully functional URLs.

Scheme

The first part of the URL is the scheme, which indicates the protocol that the browser must use to request the resource (a protocol is a set method for exchanging or transferring data around a computer network). Usually for websites the protocol is HTTPS or HTTP (its unsecured version). Addressing web pages requires one of these two, but browsers also know how to handle other schemes such as mailto: (to open a mail client), so don’t be surprised if you see other protocols.

Authority

Next follows the authority, which is separated from the scheme by the character pattern ://. If present the authority includes both the domain (e.g., www.example.com) and the port (80), separated by a colon:

  • The domain indicates which Web server is being requested. Usually this is a domain name, but an IP address may also be used (but this is rare as it is much less convenient).
  • The port indicates the technical “gate” used to access the resources on the web server. It is usually omitted if the web server uses the standard ports of the HTTP protocol (80 for HTTP and 443 for HTTPS) to grant access to its resources. Otherwise, it is mandatory.

Note: The separator between the scheme and authority is ://. The colon separates the scheme from the next part of the URL, while // indicates that the next part of the URL is the authority.

One example of a URL that doesn’t use an authority is the mail client (mailto:foobar). It contains a scheme but doesn’t use an authority component. Therefore, the colon is not followed by two slashes and only acts as a delimiter between the scheme and mail address.

Path to resource

/path/to/myfile.html is the path to the resource on the Web server. In the early days of the Web, a path like this represented a physical file location on the Web server. Nowadays, it is mostly an abstraction handled by Web servers without any physical reality.

Parameters

?key1=value1&key2=value2 are extra parameters provided to the Web server. Those parameters are a list of key/value pairs separated with the & symbol. The Web server can use those parameters to do extra stuff before returning the resource. Each Web server has its own rules regarding parameters, and the only reliable way to know if a specific Web server is handling parameters is by asking the Web server owner.

Anchor

#SomewhereInTheDocument is an anchor to another part of the resource itself. An anchor represents a sort of “bookmark” inside the resource, giving the browser the directions to show the content located at that “bookmarked” spot. On an HTML document, for example, the browser will scroll to the point where the anchor is defined; on a video or audio document, the browser will try to go to the time the anchor represents. It is worth noting that the part after the #, also known as the fragment identifier, is never sent to the server with the request.

How to use URLs

Any URL can be typed right inside the browser’s address bar to get to the resource behind it. But this is only the tip of the iceberg!

The HTML language makes extensive use of URLs:

  • to create links to other documents with the <a> element.
  • to link a document with its related resources through various elements such as <link> or <script>;
  • to display media such as images (with the <img> element), videos (with the <video> element), sounds and music (with the <audio> element), etc.
  • to display other HTML documents with the <iframe> element.

Note: When specifying URLs to load resources as part of a page (such as when using the <script>, <audio>, <img>, <video>, and the like), you should generally only use HTTP and HTTPS URLs, with few exceptions (one notable one being data: as with Data URLs). Using FTP, for example, is not secure and is no longer supported by modern browsers.

Other technologies, such as CSS or JavaScript, use URLs extensively, and these are really the heart of the Web.

Absolute URLs vs relative URLs

What we saw above is called an absolute URL, but there is also something called a relative URL. The URL standard defines both — though it uses the terms absolute URL string and relative URL string, to distinguish them from URL objects (which are in-memory representations of URLs).

Let’s examine what the distinction between absolute and relative means in the context of URLs.

The required parts of a URL depend to a great extent on the context in which the URL is used. In your browser’s address bar, a URL doesn’t have any context, so you must provide a full (or absolute) URL, like the ones we saw above. You don’t need to include the protocol (the browser uses HTTP by default) or the port (which is only required when the targeted Web server is using some unusual port), but all the other parts of the URL are necessary.

When a URL is used within a document, such as in an HTML page, things are a bit different. Because the browser already has the document’s own URL, it can use this information to fill in the missing parts of any URL available inside that document. We can differentiate between an absolute URL and a relative URL by looking only at the path part of the URL. If the path part of the URL starts with the “/” character, the browser will fetch that resource from the top root of the server, without reference to the context given by the current document.

Let’s look at some examples to make this clearer.

Examples of absolute URLs

Full URL (the same as the one we used before) https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Learn
Implicit protocol //developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Learn

In this case, the browser will call that URL with the same protocol as the one used to load the document hosting that URL.

Implicit domain name /en-US/docs/Learn

This is the most common use case for an absolute URL within an HTML document. The browser will use the same protocol and the same domain name as the one used to load the document hosting that URL. Note: it isn’t possible to omit the domain name without omitting the protocol as well.

Examples of relative URLs

To better understand the following examples, let’s assume that the URLs are called from within the document located at the following URL: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Learn

Sub-resources Skills/Infrastructure/Understanding_URLs

Because that URL does not start with /, the browser will attempt to find the document in a sub-directory of the one containing the current resource. So in this example, we really want to reach this URL: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Learn/Skills/Infrastructure/Understanding_URLs.

Going back in the directory tree ../CSS/display

In this case, we use the ../ writing convention — inherited from the UNIX file system world — to tell the browser we want to go up from one directory. Here we want to reach this URL: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Learn/../CSS/display, which can be simplified to: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/CSS/display.

Semantic URLs

Despite their very technical flavor, URLs represent a human-readable entry point for a Web site. They can be memorized, and anyone can enter them into a browser’s address bar. People are at the core of the Web, and so it is considered best practice to build what is called semantic URLs. Semantic URLs use words with inherent meaning that can be understood by anyone, regardless of their technical know-how.

Linguistic semantics are of course irrelevant to computers. You’ve probably often seen URLs that look like mashups of random characters. But there are many advantages to creating human-readable URLs:

  • It is easier for you to manipulate them.
  • It clarifies things for users in terms of where they are, what they’re doing, what they’re reading or interacting with on the Web.
  • Some search engines can use those semantics to improve the classification of the associated pages.

Also, read about Clean URLs

SOURCE: Mozella

Feb 2022

SEO Strategy: Using Social Media Profiles

Any business that has strong SEO strategies knows the value of social media profiles. Having strong social media profiles can lead to more exposure online, connect you with your customers/clients, and enhance your company’s online reputation. This strategy can also play an important role in driving favorable search engine rankings.

Your social media presence promotes links and sharable content. Google and other search engines notice frequently shared links as a sign of a website’s credibility and popularity and awards those websites with higher rankings. In order to be on par with your competition, you must optimize your social platforms (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram).

Are you posting fresh social media content across all relevant profiles?

Unless you have your own website associated with your name, your social media profiles are ordinarily the first Google results shown when someone searches for you, your services, or products.
Your social media profiles may be the first encounter potential customers/clients have with your company brand. That first impression will either encourage visitors’ interest or drive them away to find your competitors. It is advantageous, therefore, to consider each of your social media profiles as a landing page for your personal brand.

Remember to interlink your profiles to each other. Most social networks have places to include links to your other networks, and you should use them whenever you can.

Finally, remain connected, be an active member on your social networks. You will start acquiring a following very quickly.