The Spectrum Group Online https://online-sales-marketing.com Where Visibility and Transparency Connect Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:00:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.1 48765153 7 Common Web Design Mistakes https://online-sales-marketing.com/web-design-mistakes/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/web-design-mistakes/#respond Fri, 14 Dec 2018 17:00:27 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=18840

Too Many Voices

Design is a topic that everyone can have an opinion on. While you might not have everyone in the office giving you an opinion on how your website’s About Us page is worded, you can bet if you change the design of the page you’ll get a bunch of people telling you it looks “great” or “ugly”…  So here are some common web design mistakes we often see and how to avoid them.

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Designated Designer

Colors – Starting with the simple things; colors. Some colors, yellow for example, are difficult for some people to see. You need to make sure that your site is attractive, but it still needs to be accessible to as many people as possible. Make sure the colors you’ve chosen are easy to see for everyone.

Load time – While this might not strictly speaking be a ‘design’ issue, people won’t see your pretty pages if they take too long to load. Attention spans are getting shorter so load times need to get faster. Site speed is a major ranking factor on most search engines, so make sure your site is loading as quickly as it can.

Mobile optimized – Now google are indexing mobile and desktop sites separately you have even less excuse than before to ignore your mobile site. By now if your site isn’t mobile optimized you should be ashamed!

Web Page Etiquette

Logical flow – Every business should have a USP, and there are many factors that you would say set your business apart from your competition, but having a crazy website design is not one of them. People are visiting your website to find information, and it’s your job to make that as simple as possible. Don’t over design your site to a point where it becomes difficult to use.

Menus – As mentioned above, people are on your site to find information. Menus are a big part of that, especially on mobile devices where you’re working with a smaller screen. Having easy to use menus that lead visitors to the places they want to go are a bit part of a successful website design.

Search bar – While they might seem outdated we think that search bars should always be included at the top or the bottom with other navigation buttons. A search bar is especially useful on mobile sites where messing around with menus might be tricky. Also, as an aside, you can track what users search for in Google Analytics, which will help you improve your site in the future.

Enough empty space? – All this talk has been about your site, features, menus and so on… but don’t forget to leave some space. If your site is too crowded it becomes difficult to read, or to separate information. Leaving ‘white space’ is important as it helps visitors break up information and generally makes a site look less busy.

7 Web Design Mistakes Steps

If you follow the steps detailed above, you should have an attractive, easy-to-use website, that keeps leads flowing in. What design headaches do you have? We’d love to hear about them.

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

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Photo credit – Bottom: Pixnio

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Livestream Indexing API – More Structured Data https://online-sales-marketing.com/livestream-indexing-api/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/livestream-indexing-api/#respond Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:00:57 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=18834

API Call

As internet speeds have increased so has the ability to watch video online. For most of us in the US, gone are the days of pausing a YouTube video to wait for it to load. With this increase in internet speed, and improvements in technology, we now have the ability to watch live events via the internet. As livestream content is becoming increasingly popular Google have created an indexing API allowing companies to better advertise their live content.

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Going Live in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Making any kind of video content is hard work, and getting people to watch your videos is just as difficult. But when you throw into the mix that the video content is time sensitive and that you’re showing something live you get a whole other layer of complexity. So Google have tried to solve this issue by creating an indexing API which allows you to tell Google that you are about to livestream something. Then, if Google thinks the video is interesting, it will potentially display your video on the SERP when the topic your video is on is searched for.

This will be presumably most used by news companies, or around sporting events, where ‘live’ coverage is more important, but it could also be interesting for companies involved in some of the bigger trade shows events like Salesforce’s Dreamforce event.

Swimming up the Livestream

Adding the API structured data will not be a guarantee that your live video will make it to the front page, but for some less competitive search terms it may lead to some abuse. Time will tell how effective Google are at managing which streams are chosen, and if there are any interesting results.

More Structured Data

This post follows on from yesterday’s post about Q&A structured data and does seem to point clearly to Google pushing various different forms of schema for 2019. We think that schema is going to become an even bigger part of SEO in the coming year, so if you have time, you should start researching it now!

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Photo credit – Top: Master SGT Michael Sauret
Photo credit – Bottom: Joe the Goat Farmer

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New Types of Structured Data Q&A Pages – Google & Schema https://online-sales-marketing.com/structured-data-qa-pages/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/structured-data-qa-pages/#respond Wed, 12 Dec 2018 17:00:20 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=18830

Building A Framework

As Google continues to promote schema, the SEO framework, going into 2019, they have announced that a new type of structured data has been added to their search engine results page, allowing companies that have Q&A sections on their site to display questions and multiple answers directly on the SERP.

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Scaffolding

Structured data is a framework derived from schema. Schema is a kind of scaffolding that has been designed to help build the internet (and websites) in a more uniform way. The idea being that pages built with schema will be easier for a search engine to quickly understand, helping sites be better matched to search terms and enabling the SERP to load more quickly.

Q&A

The Q&A structured data is part of a number of structured data formats created by Google to enable users to get the information they want more quickly. Without even needing to leave the search engine results page. While companies might not be happy with their potential visitors seeing what they need on the SERP without ever clicking on their site, Google seem to be pushing the idea with a number of similar layouts.

Who’s Asking?

The new structured data format will be useful for sites like Quora and Example.com but it can also be of use to businesses if you have a FAQs section, or a Q&A style page on your website where you describe your products/ services.

If you’re selling a product with detailed terms and conditions, or that needs regular support, it can be good to have a page detailing often asked questions and answers, taking some strain away from your customer success staff.

If you have a page, marking it up using the Q&A structured data format from Google, will help your customers get the information they need more quickly, and, hopefully, help them get more from the product.

Schemes for Schema

Do you think we’re going to see more  structured data? We think schema is going to be a big SEO topic next year. What do you think?

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Photo credit – Top: Pixabay
Photo credit – Bottom: PXHere

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Unique Images – Ranking on Google Images https://online-sales-marketing.com/unique-images-ranking-google-images/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/unique-images-ranking-google-images/#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2018 17:00:00 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=18826

Smile for the Camera

By now, If you talk about ranking on Google people have a pretty good idea what you’re talking about. They imagine that your website will be at the top, or close to it, of the search engine results page. You’ll see a short blurb advertising the site and a title. But there is another way to rank on google… with unique images.

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Take a Photo It’ll Last Longer

Ranking for written content rightfully gets most of the attention when people are talking about SEO, but it isn’t the only way to rank. You can also get the images on your site to rank on Google Images. Google images is often used by shoppers looking for ideas, or when someone is trying to compare different products.

Having images that rank can be useful for businesses with online stores, for example a company that sells wristwatches. A searcher may type the model or manufacturer of the watch into Google looking for ideas before making a purchase. If your site has an image that ranks highly on Google images, then when the searcher clicks to enlarge the image, you could be one step closer to a customer.

How to Rank

One of the most important factors when it comes to getting images to rank, much like with written content, is using unique images. If you’re copying images, or using images under creative commons it’s very unlikely that Google will give your images a high ranking.

This is because if Google sees a bunch of the same images are “requested” when someone searches for them it will only pick one. By having the same photo as another website you’re decreasing your chances of your image being chosen to display by 50% straight away. So, if you want your images to have a better chance of ranking, you should be using unique images.

Better Meta

Another important part of getting an image to rank on Google is the meta description. As Google can’t “see” images the same way we can, it will use the meta description (a small text description for an image that is hidden from a site user) to help work out what it is showing. Alongside the meta, Google will also look at any image caption, and the rest of the content on the page, to see what your image is about. So try to keep your images in a context where they would be expected. No wristwatch photos on your “best gardens of 2018” blog post, for example.

Unique Images on Page One

Getting your images to page one should be less difficult than getting your written content to page one, just because there is less of a focus on image optimization. So, let us know how you get on with your unique images.

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Photo credit – Top: Pexels
Photo credit – Bottom: Nogran SRO

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Google Doesn’t Index Redirects https://online-sales-marketing.com/google-index-redirects/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/google-index-redirects/#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 17:00:42 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=18818

302, 301, 303

Sometimes you know something and it just slips out of your mind. You know you know it, you just lost it somewhere in the back of your memory. Well, this is the feeling we had this week when Google’s John Mueller reminded us about redirects and not-index pages.

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Redirects

Responding to a question on Twitter John flagged up that Google (and also Bing) don’t index redirects. So if you’re redirecting from website.com/1 to website.com/2 Google won’t spend any time reading the content on website.com/1, they will only read what is on website.com/2.

This is common sense, and we already knew it. But we didn’t know we knew it. You also shouldn’t confuse not indexing a page, with it not appearing on the SERP. Using the example above website.com/1 may still be listed on the search engine results page. So the address may still exist on Google, but Google isn’t reading the content from that address anymore internally.

Bing Bong

Bing Works exactly the same way, and will not index pages that are redirected. Including 302 redirects. So even temporary redirects will cause a page to not be indexed. Which, again, we think we knew. Or at least we assumed that was how it happened. But now we know for sure. If you don’t want your users to see the content of a page and use a redirect to send them elsewhere, Bing will take the hint and ignore the content too.

Forgotten Knowledge

Are there any well known SEO facts that you’ve been reminded of recently? Did you forget that Alt-Tags were a thing? Have you been writing 300 character meta descriptions for the last year? We’d love to hear which SEO tips have slipped your mind.

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Photo credit – Top: Joe the Goat Farmer
Photo credit – Bottom: Wikipedia

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How to Get Leads From Your Affiliate Program https://online-sales-marketing.com/how-to-get-leads-from-your-affiliate-program/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/how-to-get-leads-from-your-affiliate-program/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 17:00:32 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=18812

We’re Partners

One of the best ways to get customers it through a personal recommendation, but setting up a system that can generate regular referrals can be difficult, so one way to simulate this type of situation is by building a community of affiliates that will help promote your business, and, hopefully, send customers your way.

Lead Generation

When you’re looking at potential affiliate partners you need to make sure you’re very careful. These companies will be representing you and your brand in the same way a salesperson would, so you should take as much time vetting them as you would a new hire.

If you’re starting from scratch a good way of looking for potential affiliates is using a keyword tracking tool to see where the traffic is going for the keywords you’re focused on. Tools like SEMRush will help you identify where people are already going. Then you can look through the list and exclude all of your competitors websites. What you have left are potential affiliate partners.

Trust

Once you’ve found the companies that you think you could work with from a business point of view, you need to find out how trustworthy and ‘white-hat’ their SEO practices are. You don’t want to build a relationship (or links) with websites that have bad SEO. One tool we like to use is LinkResearchTools. This helps give us a ‘health check’ on any potential websites that we build links with. If a site has a high PowerTrust score it’s usually a good sign that they are following the right SEO path, and working with them won’t damage your online reputation from an SEO standpoint.

Building Bridges

After your detective work is over it’s time to get back to old fashioned business and start building relationships and negotiating an affiliate arrangement that will work for both sides. Do you have affiliates sending business your way? We’d love to hear how you pick the right companies to work with.

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Photo credit – Top: Pixabay
Photo credit – Bottom: Pixabay

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Checking In With AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages – Spectrum Group https://online-sales-marketing.com/checking-in-with-amp/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/checking-in-with-amp/#respond Wed, 05 Dec 2018 17:00:41 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=18808

The Need for Speed

You should be aware of Accelerated Mobile Pages by now, but if you aren’t it’s time to take another look at them because mobile speed and ease of use is become more important than ever. So, when we saw a great post in the Google Product Forums outlining the most frequently asked questions about AMP we thought we’d break it down.

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Loading, Loading…

This post from DongHwi Lee breaks down the main things you need to know about AMP, and how it changes (or doesn’t change) the way your site is treated by Google. We picked out a few key points that we found pretty interesting.

Indexed at the Same Time

Firstly, that AMP and non AMP pages are indexed at the same pace as the rest of the pages on your website. So Google doesn’t give any preference to the creation of AMP pages when it come to getting them indexed. They will be indexed at the same rate that your site is, which, as we know, is based on how regularly you are creating new content on your site.

AdWords Doesn’t Change Your SEO

Another interesting point raised in the post is that AdWords doesn’t have any effect on your SEO directly. Google have often refuted the suggestion that AdWords users will have better SEO results, but it bears repeating as it is an often suggested that it does change your ranking. The only way having a PPC campaign running will change your SEO is by ensuring that your site is taking up more space on the SERP if your ad shows. For example, if you’re running a branding campaign and your ad shows at the top of the page, then your site is listed as the first organic suggestion. But there is no extra SEO juice sent to your site when you turn on AdWords.

AMP Won’t Improve Your Ranking

Again, another point of interest. Using AMP will not improve your organic ranking on its own. You will not see your ranking improve just because you have AMP pages. You will however see your ranking improve if you can improve the speed your site loads. Site speed is a major ranking factor, and having AMP is part of improving your site speed. But you can’t treat it like a checkbox. AMP alone won’t save the day. AMP should be used alongside a strategy to improve your site’s loading times if you want to see your ranking increase.

AMP Unpacked

AMP is a useful way of delivering mobile content to your users quickly and in an easy to digest format on mobile. But it isn’t a panacea for all of your site speed or mobile problems. So, as long as you’re aware of what it is, you can use it to help supplement your other SEO efforts, and have happy mobile visitors to your site.

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Photo credit – Top: MaxPixel
Photo credit – Bottom: PXHere

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Screaming Frog & API – It Just Got Better https://online-sales-marketing.com/screaming-frog-api/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/screaming-frog-api/#respond Tue, 04 Dec 2018 17:00:06 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=18803 Screaming Frog on a lily

Partnerships

Screaming Frog is one of our favorite tools when it comes to carrying out an SEO audit on a website, or if we’re looking to check on how a site’s content is performing. So, when we saw that it’s just got better, we were very excited. Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Contact Us Now »

API

This recent tweet from Screaming Frog highlighted that you can use Screaming Frog to pull data directly from you Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts. This means that when you’re creating a report in Screaming Frog, you can see the site data alongside data showing how the site is performing.

Drowning in Data

If you’ve ever tried to use Screaming Frog to do content analysis, or any kind of audit on a website and you didn’t know you could pull the data directly from GA or Google Search Console into Screaming Frog you’ll know the pain of trying to manually merge the two reports into one spreadsheet. But now you can do it at the click of a button.

Screaming Frog Tips

When we carry out a SEO audit on a new clients website the first things we look for are the easy fixes. Typically that’s meta descriptions and title tags. When we’re doing a meta and title tag audit we use Screaming Frog to pull that data out and then we include Clicks, Impressions, CTR and Position from Search Console, and also Time on Page and Page Value from Google Analytics. This helps to give us an idea on how the meta and title tags are performing and also on where the page sits in relative value compared to the rest of the website.

SEO Tools

As we’ve already said, Screaming Frog is one of our favorite tools out there, so when they keep on improving with useful features like this, we’re always going to be happy. Do you use Screaming Frog to help with your SEO? We’d love to hear how you use the tool to keep your site on the front page.

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console? We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales. Click for a free 30-minute consultation »
Photo credit – Top: Pixabay ]]>
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How to Promote Your Video, Without Paying https://online-sales-marketing.com/promote-your-video-without-paying/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/promote-your-video-without-paying/#respond Fri, 30 Nov 2018 17:00:34 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=18787

Video Star

Making video content is a time-consuming job. But a well crafted video can do great things for your business whether it is offering a window into how your company works, or just describing the products that you sell. However, after putting all that effort into producing a video, you want people to watch it, right? Well, here are some ways to get people watching your video (without having to use paid ads).

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Your YouTube

Like any content you create, video needs to be promoted. It isn’t enough to just put it out there and hope someone will watch it. While YouTube might show you videos you’re interested in on your home screen, these will typically be from accounts that have high numbers of subscribers and large viewing figures on their videos. So to get your video to show up for searcher, you need to do some work.

Content Mapping – Look at the videos you have produced, and that are being produced by your competition. Are there any gaps in the content you currently have that you can fill with video. You shouldn’t be creating video content just for the sake of it, it’s too time-consuming and labour intensive. You should be making videos that solve problems you might have in communicating with your customers.video camera

Treat Your Videos Like Pages – If you create a new page for your website, you’re going to optimize it for SEO. Do the same with your videos. Make sure they’re optimized for keywords that users will type when looking for that type of video. Make sure the keyword is in the title and description for the video. Also, add closed captions to the video too, and if the keyword is spoken in the video, make sure it is in there too.

Use Video to Find New Keywords – One benefit of using video content is that it forces you to verbalize your keywords. Terms that might look okay written on a webpage could sound clunky when spoken out loud. Looking at the keywords used to find your videos may give you ideas for new keywords that could be useful as voice search becomes more popular.

Embed your videos – Once you’ve got optimized videos, use them. Embed them on your pages, use them on your social media profiles, ask team members to share them on LinkedIn. Any traction you can generate for your content will be useful in helping to create momentum for your video content. Putting a simple explainer video on your site’s homepage can be a great way of letting a first time visitor know what your company does.

Link Back Home – Another tip when you’re creating videos is to add links back to related content on your website in the video’s description section. This helps to complete the loop and send anyone who hasn’t seen your site there to find out more.

Paid Advertising

We like paid advertising, and we think that PPC is an important part of digital marketing. But, before you start doing paid ads, you should be making the most out of your organic SEO on all types of content you produce. So if you follow these steps your videos will be optimized and productive, then, if you choose to pay to promote them, they should bring even more leads.

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Photo credit – Top: Joe the Goat Farmer
Photo credit – Bottom: PixNio

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What is Target Impression Share? https://online-sales-marketing.com/target-impression-share/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/target-impression-share/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 17:00:49 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=18783

Aim at the Target

Having spoken about AI earlier in the week, we’re back looking at the robots again today with Google Ads new smart bidding strategy. Google have been using AI to help their PPC customers get the best value for money, or performance, for some time now, so it’s an exciting time when they announce a new smart bidding strategy; target impression share.

Smart Bidding

Google’s smart bidding strategies aim to take some of the guesswork out of PPC bidding. Using the data that Google collects about your account, and how your ads perform, the automated bidding tools aim to second guess the system and put your ads in the best position possible.

Cost per acquisition is a long-standing smart bidding option offered by Google. The idea of CPA is that you input what you are willing to pay for a conversion, and then Google will use that as an upper limit for your bids. Then it will move your ads up and down the page as it sees necessary until it gets you your conversion. However, for CPA to work you need to have been running ads for a certain amount of time, and have a high enough volume of conversions for Google to be able to make the assumptions needed to run the algorithm.

Target Impression Share

The new smart bidding strategy focused on impressions over conversions, and is aimed users that want their ads to show at certain places on the SERP. You have three options of where your ads can show:

  1. At the top of the ad section
  2. In the top ad section
  3. On the front page

With this strategy you can also decide how often the ad is shown in certain auctions. For example it can show 100% of the time or 50% of them. The idea of target impression share is to increase brand awareness. So it’s perfect if you’ve launched a new product line, or changed your brand name and you want to make sure that it is seen by as many people as possible.

Testing, Testing, 1, 2 ,3

What do you think of Target Impression Share? Have you had a chance to test it out with your Google Ads account? We’d love to hear what you think of the new smart bidding tool.

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Photo credit – Top: PXHere
Photo credit – Bottom: Nogran SRO

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