Online Presence in COVID 19 World

Online Presence in COVID 19 World

Practical On-Line Tips

The COVID-19 pandemic means that pretty much nothing is business as usual. Customers are concerned about how businesses are adapting to the situation — wondering if you’re open, have product available, if those products are safe, etc.

For all the doom and gloom media, there are buyers still seeking normality and now is not the time to ignore or lessen your on-line and digital presence. In fact, much more time is now being spent online whilst quarantines are in play!

There are several steps you should be taking now to ensure your customers can get answers when they’re searching online.

Be sure to update your Google My Business listing to highlight how your business operations have changed during this time. Google have implimented some changes (all most likely temporary) you should also be aware of:

– Review functionality has been disabled.
– New reviews will not be published.
– Business owners cannot respond to reviews.
– Questions & Answers have been temporarily removed.
– Critical health-related businesses get priority.
– Other top priorities for business edits go to open and closed states, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions and attributes.
– New listings and verifications are delayed.
– Restaurants, cafe’s, grocery stores, and breweries are now allowed to add “Delivery Available” or “Take Away” to their business name.

Utilise your Google My Business listing Feature Posts facility to keep customers informed on the status of your business. These should be updated weekly.

Update your website including messaging regarding what you’re doing about COVID-19, including such things as changes in how clients can contact you (Skype etc).

Update your website including FAQ pages. Many brands, and especially local businesses such as restaurants and cafes need to address common questions regarding how their business practices are adapting to restrictions due to COVID-19.

Update your website including the creation of dedicated pages for COVID-19. For businesses that are significantly impacted by the crisis, it may be necessary to explain how you’re adapting on a dedicated page or right on your homepage.

Utilise your Social Media, to keep customers informed on the status of your business, changes in hours, new ways you can be contacted, answer common questions regarding how your business is adapting to restrictions due to COVID-19.

Send your customers weekly/monthly e-newsletters, so they know you are still there. Let them know how your services will be available during the time of crises. If your database is a bit sparse, now is a great time to build your database. People are soaking up information as quickly as possible and so it is a great time to start getting people engaged and signed up for your business e-communications and newsletters.

Consider implementing Google Adwords if you can afford it, there may be some significantly cheaper keyword options when potentially some of your competitors stop competing or advertising.
 

Marketing can turn out to be a great return on investment in the long term.

 

We don’t pretend all of the above is the solution. It’s just a starting point. Sadly, many businesses will struggle to survive. But there is also opportunity in this market. Those who adapt early, are best placed for the future. Finally think outside the box as once this is over, there will be a lot of new
customers waiting to be served on the other side of COVID-19.

 

For Clark Marketing & Design we have been in recent days inundated with on-line and digital works, changes to websites and other web-related activities as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and currently prioritising works for those businesses that are being impacted greatest.

If we can HELP you – please contact us via phone, email and now skype (ernie.clark2)

Online Presence in COVID 19 World

Why Mobile SEO is critical for your website

Mobile phones have dramatically changed our lives, we utilise their functionality for so many day to day things. One of these is the way we use them is to access information from websites at any time of the day, every day of the week.

Consequently, this has changed SEO, Search Engine Optimisation or simply getting on top of Google and having your website easily found and stand out.

Having a website built and fully optimised for mobile SEO is a key fundamental and crucial because it helps you reach your customers in the right place, at the right time and gives them the very best experience.

Mobile-web-design-SEO

Mobile website traffic has now eclipsed desktop web traffic, not surprising given the convenience and ease of use of mobile phones. Studies have found that people often grab the nearest device, usually their smartphone, to search and look for something on the web to help inform themselves about products or services before making a decision to action, call or buy. In fact, according to Google research, smartphone users have a higher buyer intent than desktop users. They’re focused and ready to buy!

Mobile SEO and Google’s mobile-first index

Way back in 2016, Google announced the introduction of the Google mobile-first index, meaning Google firstly looks at your website from a mobile phone perspective. Google now uses mobile-first indexing when evaluating all new websites. To get Google to discover and understand your website properly you must ensure and optimise your website so it’s what’s known as mobile crawlable and friendly.

Mobile-Search-Engine-Optimisation

You also need to avoid having your website load unnecessary or large pieces of data and thus when it loads and appears on your mobile phone it’s lightning-fast if you want Google to rank it well. Whilst there are many factors for mobile SEO, one critical factor is the website’s speed. It’s well known that a website that is slow to load on mobile phones, generally longer than a few seconds means your visitors may simply give up, move on and go elsewhere. What’s more it simply, overtime won’t rank well with Google.

This, of course, is in addition to around 200 other factors that are taken into account by Google when evaluating and ranking a website accordingly! Just a few of these include having a well-scripted website with content that is relevant, useful and unique, as well as having the mobile-friendly website correctly structured and formatted. There are also many, many other SEO and other back-end elements, many unseen by the casual user, that are correctly formatted and optimised. What’s more with mobile SEO you have to now consider Google voice search more as users are simple using new and different keyword search terms using Google voice search to find their products and services.

Mobile Search v Desktop search

If we look at the big picture and how mobile web searches have changed over the years, we can look at the total percentage of websites accessed via mobile phone from 2013 to 2019.

Mobile-SEO-Services

As the web continues to evolve, having a fully optimised mobile and search engine friendly website is critically important.  Many websites, some built even just a few years ago should now be audited and reviewed to see if they are fully up to date for mobile phone usage and meet the latest Google standards. Unfortunately, for many websites many of these may need significant updates to maximise their exposure on the web.

If you need your website reviewed, audited, updated or simply advice on how you can increase the performance of your website, you can contact Clark Marketing & Design on 03 9739 5445.

 

Interesting Mobile Use and Google Search Statistics

  • 63% of Google searches are done via mobile devices. Only 5 years ago, the figure was nearly half that—34%
  • Google captures 95% of the mobile search engine market in the U.S
  • Roughly a third of all mobile Google searches are related to location.
  • 65% of clicks on paid Google search results come from mobile devices.
  • The average Click Through Rate for a Google search advert on mobile is 4.1%. That’s nearly a full percentage point higher than the average CTR for a desktop ad—3.17%.
  • Travel & Hospitality advertisers drive higher Click Through Rates on paid mobile results than anyone else.
  • 50% of “near me” Google searches done via mobile result in a store visit.
  • Internet users aged 25-34 spend 3 hours and 45 minutes browsing on their mobile devices in 2019.The global
  • internet population as of October 2019 reached 4,48 billion active users with over 4 billion browsing on their mobile devices.
Online Presence in COVID 19 World

4x Key Things to show Google your Website can be Trusted

Google wants to show credible pages in its search results.

For this reason, Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines suggest you check the implementation of Google’s E-A-T principles (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness).
Google considers:

Expertise: The expertise of the creator of the web page. If a web page lists authors, Google checks if the author is a trustworthy author.

Authoritativeness: Google checks the authoritativeness of the creator of the web page, the web page itself, and the whole website.

Trustworthiness: Google checks the trustworthiness of the creator of the web page, the web page itself, and the whole website.

4x key things to show Google

There are 4x key things that you can do to show Google that your website is a good website that can be trusted:

1. Create good quality, unique content that is error-free

Creating good quality, unique content is the first step to create trust. The information on your website must be correct. If the content is unique, it’s even better. Remove thin content pages and avoid content that might be misinterpreted or confusing.

2. Remove technical errors from your website

It’s not a good sign if your web pages contain errors, or has not been built or formatted well in the first place, such things as broken links or other errors can contribute to issues.

3. Get links from high-quality websites

If trustworthy websites link to your website, Google will trust your website more. Link building increases the ‘health’ of your website.

4. Show Google your website can be trusted

Add your full address to your website. Make it easy to contact you. Show your contact phone number. Have an ‘About us’ page on your website that clearly describes your business. If your website features articles from different authors, each author should have a page with additional information about the author.

Third-party reviews, listings in business directories and customer testimonials can also help to create trust.

Follow the above 4x tips to help your website be more easily found in the Google search engine results pages. Everything you do that can help create credibility online and offline will be good and positive for your website.

Online Presence in COVID 19 World

Getting found in Google – Why Website Text is so Important

Writing and readability of your website pages is a very important part of good SEO. Your website text needs to satisfy your users’ needs. This, in turn, will help your rankings.

Getting-found-on-GoogleWe know that Google understands website text. Think about it: one of the most important things Google has to do is match what the user types into the search bar to a search result and show relevant websites. In fact, we know that in recent times, Google has taken some major steps when it comes to understanding text context like finding out what words are closely related to other words.

This is basically what happens when Google is fed a certain amount of text. It analyses the words in that text and determines what words tend to occur together. Then, it translates every word into a series of numbers. Thus, the bigger the data set you feed in, the better it will be able to categorise and understand words and work out how they’re used and what they mean.

The better your copy matches Google’s notion of the context, the better its chances of appearing high in the search engine results page.

Therefore, there are two very important points when considering and writing your website text content.

1. Clearly thin website content which is content that has limited or little or no value to the user is going to be at a disadvantage. You’ll need to cover your topics with text exhaustively. On a larger scale, covering related concepts and presenting a full body of meaningful copy on your site will reinforce your authority on the topic you and your business specialise in.

2. Easy to read, well-written text which clearly reflects relationships between concepts don’t just benefit your readers, they help Google as well. Difficult, inconsistent and writing with poor structure is more difficult to understand for both humans and machines. You can help the search engine understand your texts by focusing on:

Good readability (making your text as easy-to-read as possible without compromising your message).

Good structure (adding clear subheadings and transitions).

Good context (that is to say, adding clear explanations that show how what you’re saying relates to what is already known about a topic).

The better you do, the easier your users and Google alike will understand your text.
Especially as Google seems to basically be trying to create a computerised model that mimics the way us as humans process language and information.

And finally, ensure you add your keywords and keyword phrases to your website text. This still helps Google to match your page to a query. This, in turn, will help with your website rankings and will improve your chances of doing well in the search results.

Online Presence in COVID 19 World

4x Point SEO Checklist 2019

Our Quick 4x Point SEO Checklist 2019

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the key to being visible on the web, thus the need for a definitive SEO checklist to help you achieve your ranking goals. With that said, our SEO service can help boost your site up the Google ranks efficiently, bringing big perks to your business in return.

In the age of the internet, you can’t miss marketing your business on the web for people to know about it. This will help you reach your target audience efficiently, resulting in conversion online and offline if you have a bricks-and-mortar store.

SEO-Checklist-2019

But you can’t just randomly create a website and expect people to start visiting it. That wouldn’t be efficient enough in serving your intended business marketing purpose.

That is why you need to complete a checklist of SEO best practices to guide you through.

How this SEO checklist will help your business

Complete an SEO audit checklist and learn how to optimise your website efficiently.

If you can’t do it on your own, then you should tap on the experts to give you the essential SEO services you need. Based on your needs, they will help you determine which strategies are important and which ones are not necessary.

By increasing the volume of your visitors, the right SEO solutions can help your business’s website to be highly visible on the web. Aside from this, a good on-page SEO checklist will let you enjoy higher conversion rates.

Gain more organic traffic

As stated above, following an efficient SEO checklist can help with making your site highly visible on the web, thus helping it acquire more visitors. That is exactly one of the biggest goals of SEO marketing.

That’s how you gain organic traffic.

Organic traffic refers to unpaid visits and engagements on your website. That is, people found your website on SERPs and clicked on it instead of from a paid ad.

High rates of organic traffic is a sign that your site’s optimisation campaign is doing well.

If organic traffic helps with boosting your site’s visibility, then you should expect even more organic traffic to come. That means you should take some steps to have plenty of visitors that could convert into actual customers. Eventually, this will boost sales for your business.

Using these SEO practices to rank your business

Failure to come up with a complete checklist of SEO best practices could lead you away from tremendous marketing advantages. Thus, you should check out our Quick 4x point SEO audit checklist and use it as your basic guide where you can gather some ideas on what SEO points you should work on or maintain.

Deal with keywords

on-page-SEO-checklist

Keywords are what people use to search on Google and other search engines, making them the biggest hooks for any on-page SEO checklist. You should begin by searching the best keywords you can use for your business and see which ones have the lowest competition rate and the highest search volume.

1. Focus on on-page optimisation

After determining your keywords, optimise your site’s pages so Google would recognise it and help it rank higher. This step includes including your keywords on your URL, on your title tags, on your headings, and on some other areas of your pages.
You should also know about using latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords and place external and internal links throughout your content.

2. Improve website technicalities

After working on your on-page SEO, make sure to fix all the technical stuff all over your site. It includes fixing broken links, Google’s perception of your page, website loading speed, and accessibility across platforms among others.

3. Create fantastic content

Make sure to come up with great pieces of content that are presented in a highly readable way. Say, instead of merely having a huge block of texts in an article, it should be divided into subheadings with photos and videos on it.
Moreover, having long, informative, and original content can do wonders.

4. Build links

Finally, though difficult to implement, building links is an essential part of any on-page SEO checklist. Doing guest posts on reputable websites is one of the most efficient ways to get links and eventually acquire a huge volume of organic traffic.
Another trick is to mention reputable persons in your content and inform them about it, so they would be happy to also share your content or link to your post.
Just make sure to have quality content, so visitors would enjoy it and stay on your website longer.

Conclusion

These are the 4x key points you should not miss on your SEO checklist this 2019. Knowing about them is the first step. Implementing them is the next one.

If you succeed, you will be able to boost your site’s visibility, rank it up on the search engine results pages (SERPs), and ultimately acquire more traffic to convert.

Needless to say, these could potentially increase your sales as a result.

 

Online Presence in COVID 19 World

Local Search Ranking Factors

Local search continues to see significant growth and change.

Each Year MOZ (A world-leading SEO and SEO Software Company) publishes a Local Search Ranking Factors survey results and the 2018 results are in!

As the landscape of local search changes year to year, it’s exciting to see the shifts in the areas that require focus and dedication to beat the competition and earn the top-ranking positions in search results.

We’ve reviewed the Local Search Ranking Factors survey results for 2018 and cut through some of the technicalities to provide a brief summary of the key factors that have changed, and that are affecting local search results in Google.

The biggest shift this year is happening in Google My Business signals, but there’s also an increase in the importance of Google Reviews.

Website-Local-Ranking-Factors

 

So, it’s important to understand exactly what Google My Business is.

Google My Business is a tool for businesses and organisations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By setting up, claiming and verifying your Google My Business Listing and then editing, optimising and maximising your business information, you can help customers more easily find you as well as maximise the exposure of your business products and services, plus help your business and website stand out on Google.

These Google My Business listings also appear in keyword searches. This makes them very important to ensure they are up to date and optimised especially with such a rise in searches made on mobile phones. The reason for this is they are amongst the first things a searcher will see in the search results pages, usually under the paid adverts, then the Google My Business listings, then the organic search results. However, in some cases where no paid adverts appear, they appear first!

Seach-Results-GMB-Local-Pack

As part of the Google My Business platform, which was introduced late in 2017, Google ramped up the opportunities for business for local search by introducing Google My Business feature Posts. This feature allows you to publish your events, products and services directly to Google Search (in the Knowledge Panel) and Maps. Google Feature Post content appears in both Google search and map results.

To read more about Google My Business Feature Posts click here.

The 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors survey from MOZ stated: “GMB Feature Posts are one of the more interesting opportunities in local SEO these days. The control you have over the messaging allows for a lot of creativity. In particular, we are seeing traction in cases where branded searches are “leaking” clicks to other domains in the SERPs. GMB Feature Posts are a great way to attract more engagement and clicks from potential customers who are already searching and may be in buying mode.

What’s more, Google is now placing more emphasis on these Feature posts!

SEO-Local-Rankings-Google-My-Business-Signals

The other key output we took from the results was that the Google Reviews, like them or hate them, are on the rise!

To find out more about how Google Reviews can impact your business click here.

Review signals for local search have also seen continued growth over last year. In fact, the importance of Google Reviews signals have steadily risen since 2015 when they were listed as contributing 10.8% and in 2018 showing an importance factor of 15.44% that’s a 43% increase in the importance of review signals in 3 years!

SEO-Local-Rankings-Review-Signals

The final thing we took from the results was that Citations remain very important although the signals are slightly less than 2017. Very importantly citations are still very valuable and very important for local search.

To find out more about Citations for local search click here.

So, let’s, break it down to simplicity and what you should be doing to increase your business and website exposure in 2019:

Make sure your Google My Business profile is 100% complete and fully optimised. (oh, and if you haven’t got a Google My Business profile – get one NOW!)

  • Start using Google Feature posts NOW.
  • Regularly upload new photos and videos to Google My Business.
  • Work on getting more Google reviews (obviously). Ask every customer.
  • Encourage keywords in the reviews by asking customers to mention the specific service or product in their review.
  • Respond to every review.
  • Seed the Google Q&A with your own questions and answers.

Why spend your time on these activities? Besides the potential relevance boost, you’ll get from the additional content, you’re also sending valuable engagement signals to Google. Regularly logging into your listing and providing content shows Google that you’re an active and engaged business owner that cares about your listing, and the local search experts are saying that this is also providing ranking benefits. There’s another engagement angle here too: user engagement. Provide more content for users to engage with and they’ll spend more time on your listing clicking around and sending those helpful behavioural signals to Google.

Need help? Did you know that Clark Marketing & Design can help you with all of the above, along with a number of important website and SEO services.