The internet is a dog-eat-dog world for online businesses; hundreds of thousands of sites within the same niches are all competing for the best rankings, top keywords, and valuable attention from consumers. It is critical for business owners to not only know the rules and guidelines of current SEO practices, but to also be able to stay ahead of the curve by recognizing new patterns as they emerge.
Since SEO best practices are changed more often than coffee filters, it can sometimes be hard to stay on the ball at times. For that reason, marketers and business owners are constantly under pressure while conducting hours upon hours of SEO research and investigatory work to be certain that they are in-the-know and their website will outperform the competition.
To help save you all those hours of arduous online analysis, here is what you need to know about the direction SEO is heading and what factors are absolutely vital to success.
Keywords have always been a defining factor in SEO, however, many sites are not harvesting the results that have been seen in years prior for the same keywords. This is in partly due to the growing competition. Everyday new sites emerge making the competition pool that much larger. In order for sites to generate the amount of attention necessary for survival and prosperity, a bit of creative thinking is required.
Businesses must expand their SEO vocabulary through exploring alternative terms that folks may be searching to find what they are looking for. Mid-tail and long-tail keywords are quickly becoming more popular as Google’s voice search feature often has people posing casual questions while on the go.
When identifying keywords, it is fine to start with the most commonly used terms, but only as a starting point. From there, you will want to come up with as many variations and associations as possible. Once you have racked your brain for every keyword possibility, turn your attention to digital tools for help. Some useful resources for keyword identification include:
Related searching in Google, Yahoo, and Bing
Yahoo Search Assist
Harvesting keywords from top-ranking competitors’ meta tags
Much of a site’s success has to do with its appearance and usability. Sites that seem outdated, cluttered, or not intuitive simply aren’t trusted by most and will not get the amount of traffic desired.
In order for your site to be not only appealing (but more importantly trusted) by consumers, there are certain elements that must be present. But it isn’t just consumers that are concerned with your site’s appearance; Google is too.
Google is continually trying to provide users with the best possible listings in SERPs. This means that Google also analyzes a site’s bounce rate and how much time users spend on a site. If your site looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1999, they will move on quickly and Google will recognize this and factor it in to your ranking results. Make sure your site is as modern and user-friendly as possible if you want to rank well.
Backlinks are still a factor in SEO. You should take full advantage of this by incorporating links to content you have previously published in newer posts. This will help increase the time users are on your site, engagement, and shares of your content. It is equally important to create external links wherever possible, but do be cautious about the external links that you select. Links that are irrelevant to the subject at hand, spam-like, or just plain low-quality will do more harm than good.
It is also imperative to keep in mind that linking can be overdone. Not only will link-riddled copy be a turn-off to readers, but this will not bode well with Google either. And be sure to regularly review links to ensure they are still active and high-quality. Broken links will make for unhappy readers and unhappy site owners.
This point has been stressed for some time now, especially with all the lead up to “Mobilegeddon”, but a surprising number of sites have still not implemented the changes that Google recommended. And as for those who did? An 11% increase was reported by mobile-friendly sites in the six weeks following the update.
Mobile is the preferred device for the next generation; plain and simple. More people are searching on mobile devices than on desktops and this transition will only continue to progress as time goes on. Google has even commented on this sentiment stating that, “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries, including the US and Japan.”
The bottom line is that your site must be mobile-friendly in order to move into the future. To get an idea of just how mobile-friendly your site currently is, check out Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool. And, if you have yet to optimize your site for mobile screens, get on it.
Local listings are becoming increasingly paramount for online businesses. When people search on mobile devices they are often looking for a quick, local solution. To make sure that your city’s residents can find your business, be sure to register with Google My Business to optimize your local traffic. After filling out a basic profile, Google My Business will include your company’s information on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+ making you that much easier to find.
SEO is always changing, and it always will be changing. There will never come a time when the rules are set in stone, never be amended again. To become a master of this art, you must learn to recognize the changes to come before they occur by analyzing the current status of SEO and societal search patterns. The constant evolution of SEO is just the name of the game.
What do you think the next major change to SEO will be? How do you think mobile dominance is set to affect SEO in the future?
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AWS launches Amazon Honeycode, a no-code mobile and web app builder
AWS today announced the beta launch of Amazon Honeycode, a new, fully managed low-code/no-code development tool that aims to make it easy for anybody in a company to build their own applications. All of this, of course, is backed by a database in AWS and a web-based, drag-and-drop interface builder.
Developers can build applications for up to 20 users for free. After that, they pay per user and for the storage their applications take up.
“Customers have told us that the need for custom applications far outstrips the capacity of developers to create them,” said AWS VP Larry Augustin in the announcement. “Now with Amazon Honeycode, almost anyone can create powerful custom mobile and web applications without the need to write code.”
Like similar tools, Honeycode provides users with a set of templates for common use cases like to-do list applications, customer trackers, surveys, schedules and inventory management. Traditionally, AWS argues, a lot of businesses have relied on shared spreadsheets to do these things.
“Customers try to solve for the static nature of spreadsheets by emailing them back and forth, but all of the emailing just compounds the inefficiency because email is slow, doesn’t scale, and introduces versioning and data syncing errors,” the company notes in today’s announcement. “As a result, people often prefer having custom applications built, but the demand for custom programming often outstrips developer capacity, creating a situation where teams either need to wait for developers to free up or have to hire expensive consultants to build applications.”
It’s no surprise then that Honeycode uses a spreadsheet view as its core data interface, which makes sense, given how familiar virtually every potential user is with this concept. To manipulate data, users can work with standard spreadsheet-style formulas, which seems to be about the closest the service gets to actual programming. ‘Builders,” as AWS calls Honeycode users, can also set up notifications, reminders and approval workflows within the service.
AWS says these databases can easily scale up to 100,000 rows per workbook. With this, AWS argues, users can then focus on building their applications without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.
As of now, it doesn’t look like users will be able to bring in any outside data sources, though that may still be on the company’s roadmap. On the other hand, these kinds of integrations would also complicate the process of building an app and it looks like AWS is trying to keep things simple for now.
Honeycode currently only runs in the AWS US West region in Oregon but is coming to other regions soon.
Among Honeycode’s first customers are SmugMug and Slack.
“We’re excited about the opportunity that Amazon Honeycode creates for teams to build apps to drive and adapt to today’s ever-changing business landscape,” said Brad Armstrong, VP of Business and Corporate Development at Slack in today’s release. “We see Amazon Honeycode as a great complement and extension to Slack and are excited about the opportunity to work together to create ways for our joint customers to work more efficiently and to do more with their data than ever before.”
Olaotan Richard Ceo Aims Digital Network Speaks On 5 Powerful Tips To Digital Marketing Success
Digital marketing is unarguably one of the most effective and strategic marketing tools that the internet has brought to our doorstep. Businesses all over the world are churning in millions and even billions in returns each year. Digital Expert Richard Olaotan, the CEO of Aims Digital Network, gives some powerful and winning business tips for digital marketing.
1. Visual Elements
Everyone is attracted first by what they see. Having visual elements in business is key because people can only buy what they see. And on the average, a prospective client has got to see your product or service ad about seven times before they make a purchase. Whether it is your business logo, mascot, color theme or font you are choosing, the whole idea is to catch the attention of the audience, while also maintaining that attention enough for them to remember your brand. When advertising on social media, visual creativity is key. You must, at all times, ensure that whatever it is you are putting out there is as relevant as it is eye-catching. Your digital ads must appeal to the aesthetics of viewers and will be remembered. Using images that have consistent aesthetic and gives your campaign that familiarity every time it pops up is key.
2. Invest wisely
Truth is there are several digital marketing tools and services out there, but not all of them will create the same level of impact you desire for your kind of business. So, take time to analyze your business and the service or product you wish to put out there, the age demographic you are targeting, and the location too. Afterward, you can go through the various digital marketing platforms available and select the ones that will most effectively achieve what you desire.
3. Understand the buyer process
If you can understand the journey of a buyer, you will know what marketing strategy to present at each stage. Through buyer analytics, you can deduce the actions a visitor takes throughout your website, and use this information garnered to make the buying process easier for them. For instance, Google analytics gives user history that can help you better understand where they are in their buying phase.
4. Understand your target audience
Before delving into employing digital marketing tools, it is highly advised that you have a clear understanding of who you are targeting to make your bulk purchasing audience. Everyone is a potential buyer of your product or service; however, an age range or designated people of certain classes are the best benefactors of your product or service. Those are your target audience, and in digital marketing, you engage marketing tools strategically to send unique ads to this audience.
5. Analyze your social media metrics
To see the digital marketing tool that is most effective for your product or service, Olaotan Richard advises that you analyze your data and tie it back to the direct result it produces. The best SEO company in Chicago or anywhere else would first help you find what promotes engagements for your business niche. With their finding, they can easily suggest which tool or ad style is most effective for you.
Social media giants, Facebook urges publishers to leverage creative content for improved revenue
Social media giants, Facebook, has called on publishers to leverage on creative content for better revenue generation.
Facebook’s Strategic Media Partnerships Manager for Sub Sahara Africa, Jocelyn Muhutu-Remy, made the call while speaking at a session tagged ‘Art of monetizing good storytelling through the social media’ hosted by The Guardian during the Social Media Week at Victoria Island, Lagos.
“Propose what is different and unique to you. It is not about the followers you have but the uniqueness of your content. I advise starting by promoting your page using your location to reduce pay.”
Muhutu-Remy cited an example of a publisher on Instagram whose main contents were on natural hair care and maintenance for women and urged social media publishers to follow suit.
She added that brands would only be attracted and convinced to partner and invest in a publisher whose contents is specific and specialized.
Storytelling is about engaging your audience and ensuring they can relate with your content subject,” Mutuhuru-Remy said.
Other speakers at the session moderated by Guardian Life editor, Chidera Muoka, were Instagram publishers, Sisi Yemmie, a food blogger and Comedian Wofai Fada.
Wofai Fada, a comedian, said passion is key for any publisher that wants to thrive in the digital publishing space.
“It comes easy because it’s something I love doing. Passion is necessary to push one further.”
She advised publishers to be consistent and continually renew strategies to communicate with their audience.
Sisi Yemmie, a food blogger, said specialization in Instagram publishing has given her an edge in digital publishing.
She urged other publishers to harness Google analytics tool to examine the interests of their audience, as well as means to grow their platforms.
“Your social media analytics helps you decide what types of contents you should post and what time of the day you should post. You need to be aware of what type of content is to be promoted, but be creative and dynamic too,” Sisi Yemmie said.