When it comes to good SEO practices and site usability, particular attention needs to be made for website navigation and header layout.
As a website designer, we need to consider these 3 things:
Ease of use on mobile and desktop browsers
Keyword specific labels for services or product page links
Simple to navigate without needing a GPS!
Lets expand on these 3 things and learn why they are important.
Browser and Device Compatibility
When we know that over 80% of people search for products and services on their mobile devices, we want to make sure that when they land on our website, it both works efficiently on smaller screens as well as being adaptable to standard desktop layouts. Consideration needs to be made towards button and link sizes as users will be navigating with their fingers. We can also incorporate mobile only options such as ‘call now’ and ‘get directions’ buttons.
Testing of your site needs to be done on as many browsers as possible. A recent WordPress plugin developer we dealt with only used Safari on his iMac and couldn’t troubleshoot or even acknowledge problems people were having with his plugin on PC desktops running Chrome or Firefox. Don’t leave yourself open to having a terrible looking site. Try all the main browsers like Google Chrome, Apple’s Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. You might want to also try a few different versions, as some people will not have updated their computer to the latest versions.
On mobile devices, test across Apple, Android based and Windows based smartphones and tablets.
Keyword Navigation Labels, for SEO purposes
This is only something we have been doing recently ourselves. As search bots like Google and Bing come to index your website and it’s pages, the first thing they get to read is usually your navigation and header area. In this area, make sure your site contains primary keywords, opengraph and social media data, meta titles and descriptions, as well as links to your main pages.
For example, this site (xmediads.rocks) uses side slide navigation on desktop and mobile devices and rather than the word “services” as a label, you will find navigation labels containing keywords related to what we do. For example, DIY SEO and DIY WEBSITE links tell Google that we help with search engine optimisation and website repairs and builds. Avoid stop words in your navigation titles too.
Keep Navigation Simple
After all, this is why we have menus, to help people navigate our site. Make it as user friendly as possible!
Don’t make drop down menus too deep or ongoing. Make use of subcategory pages if need be. Once again, don’t forget that your menu needs to work well on mobile devices!!
If you have your menu layout all worked out, be sure to choose the colours and text appropriately. Last thing we want is something that looks pretty but is absolutely shit to use. Keep colour choice simple, and make sure there is good contrast, like black on white, or white on black.
Navigation is only a small part of your website, but can make a massive difference to the usability of your site. With people’s attention spans and tolerance levels ever decreasing, don’t let them give up on you from the start of your site. After site loading speed and find-a-bility on Google, navigation is the next most important step!
Getting found on Google Search means being at the top. No one looks at page 2, and with mobile searches getting even more popular than ever, people will not scroll to find you. The top 3 spots on Google search are prime real estate and you have to work hard to get there.
For the sake of this article, I am going to assume your website is optimised with tags, metadata, image sizing, speedy load times, etc. If not, check out this checklist.
What should my SEO Budget be?
There are many factors that go into working out a budget for your SEO campaigns, the main one being competition. The more competitive the search terms are for your product or service, the harder it will be to improve your rank.
We like to start with small and work on the idea of scaling. This also helps build up your search profile with new links, and content. In this case, we will be keeping SEO campaign spend below $2000 AUD.
For any business, it is vital to get found in your local area. This will help you get found on both Google map and business listings, and as you can see on Google search on your mobile phone, this shows up before most organic search results.
Step1. Include a location term with your primary keywords. If you are a plumber in Maitland, be sure to use “Maitland Plumber” or “plumber in Maitland” as your keywords. This will help Google establish where your business is located and the area it services.
Also ensure that your website has your business address listed. We will refer to this as NAP, or Name, Address and Phone.
Step 2. Build Citations and Directory listings. Getting found on Google search means appearing everywhere people look. This could include the map and local business listings Google provides, but also in local directories like localsearch, yellowpages and truelocal. That way, even without your website ranking at the top of the page, you are still able to be found and contacted.
We use our LOCAL SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO) PACKAGES, that start at $599. This is a one off fee to get started and includes GST. This price is accurate at time of writing, but be sure to get a quote first before planning to go ahead with this campaign.
The Local SEO campaign includes:
Up to 50 online directory listings and updates using consistent NAP
Update of Google Business and Map Listings
Photosharing on search and sharing sites with geotagging and linking
Up to 5 video shares for linking
5 social media submissions
You as the client get the opportunity to supply the images and videos we use, or we can organise this for you. We recommend this package to start with before you continue with link building, as it ensures your business is listed in as many places as possible online. It will also use the same NAP as your website which is important as far as SEO goes.
Building Trust and Authority
So after spending $599 over the first 30 days, we have our business listed across the web, and people can start finding you through local online directories and listings. We also include your map listings on Google Maps and Apple Maps.
To help improve your first month’s efforts, we recommend tacking on a Pay-Per-Click advertising campaign. This will help build some instant traffic to your website, which will both look good to Google, and bring you paying customers. Of course, your website will need good call to actions and usability to convert these into sales, but that’s another article.
Step 3. This is where we focus on content building and creating your authority in your field. To do this, we recommend having a blog on your website with fresh and helpful content, as well as the following link building SEO package, valued at $1900 per month inclusive of GST.
The link building SEO campaign includes:
Focus of campaign on 1-2 primary URL’s on website (homepage and services)
500+ word high quality press release with embedded links/keywords distributed to over 100 authority news outlets. Perfect for product information and updates.
Guest posts to at least 3 top level authority blogs, with links from 20+ social bookmarks & blogs
Drip feed to 50 private network posts over 30 days
5 articles with keyword/URL links and anchors submitted to niche related blog sites
5 new high authority links
50 extra posts on high ranking websites and blogs linking back naturally (no anchor text)
Monitoring of Google Webmaster tools for possible black flags and penalties
We also send all press releases to you, the client, every month for approval and to check the content. We use the primary keywords from your website on some of the external links. Note, we do not give all links to your site keywords as anchor text. On average, 10 percent of links will include your primary keyword in your anchor text, with the other 90 percent using natural link text such as your URL, business name, etc.
By using this method of linking, we help keep it natural and organic looking to search engines. With recent updates to the Google Algorithm, over optimisation of links and website content can work against you when it comes to building rank. The key here is keep it natural. Focus on content and usability for site visitors.
Guest posts on other websites related to your field will help build trust, especially if that website is already ranking quite well. We also recommend having a good mix of external links on your website, as well as these new inbound links. Manage your external links in the same way you would with internal links on your website. Use correct anchor text, with a proportion of them containing your primary keywords. Linking to sites related to your field, product or service will help make your site a hub of information in Google’s robot eyes.
When Jane Smith gets on her mobile and Google’s “find a plumber in maitland” she will get results including:
The key here is to be everywhere. By having the local listings, Google Business listing, Google and Apple Maps listings and a paid advertising campaign in action, you will at the least, show up for the top 3. Good content and linking created with our link building SEO package will then slowly build up rank in the organic results, bringing you a 4 out of 4 result.
Another great way of building your authority in Google search results is through user generated content, specifically reviews! You can tell everyone you are great, that’s a start, but when other people say that you are great, that can work real magic online! Be sure to ask for reviews on both Facebook and through your Google business listing, this can also affect the way you show up in Google’s business and map listings. (especially now when Google is only showing around 3 listings, as opposed to the 6 or more it showed before).
Consistency is Key
Step 4. When it comes to search engine optimisation, consistency is the key. Be across everything all the time.
Keep your local listings up to date
Build social signals by sharing content on your social media pages
Keep an active SEO link building campaign running every month
Ensure your website is up to date, fast and mobile friendly
Create fresh content on your blog or news pages
By doing all of these things, you will find your rank on Google improves as your site comes across as current, trustworthy and a good source of information. Exactly what Google is looking for.
Summary of spending:
Month 1 (First 30 days): $599 for local SEO campaign + any additional PPC packages
Month 2 (day 30-60): $1900 for link building campaign
Month 3 (day 61-90): $1900 for link building campaign
After 90 days/3 months of content creation, along with keeping your social media pages fresh and linking to your content, and building authoritative links to your website, you will definitely find your website will start ranking better, possibly even on to page 1 of Google! Will you get the top spot?!
We help clients get a better rank by doing an website audit to spot gaps and issues, creating a tailored marketing strategy, and by implementing Whitehat SEO techniques to build authoritative links. A recent local SEO campaign we an for Maitland Toyota, gave us a number 1 result for the search term “Toyota” in their local area. With so much competition from other Toyota dealers, this is giving them the edge when it comes to search results.
If you would like to know more about what we can do for your business, be sure to have a chat with us about your goals and big picture ideas. We love coffee, so a cafe catch-up is always nice, or perhaps just a phone or Skype chat. We’re easy to get a long with and keep things easy to understand and transparent.
note: Having a budget of $2000/month can do great things to launch your brand online. We recommend building traffic to your website organically over higher ad spends, as your reach and traffic growth will continue to grow, unlike that from your online advertising. Online advertising needs it’s own special plan of attack including target specific landing pages for each ad, and call to actions that offer both something free and a better than standard deal. The bottom line is, people want more for nothing. The more you can offer, whether it is discounts or information that will help them, the better the result you will get from online marketing. Think about your own online searches and what you look for.
When it comes to helping your website show up on Google search results a lot of people employ SEO tactics they have heard work best. This can be fine, although with recent changes to Google’s search algorithm, it could do more harm than good if not done right.
Here is a recent post I did on our Facebook page about the problem and how to get around it. Please share if you found it useful….
Do you use affiliate product sales on your website, or links out for product sales that give a commission? You should add a disclaimer on your website stating this. Affiliate program managers llike ClickBank will actually reject you for not having one.
If you are running a WordPress website, you can’t go past WP Legal Pages to help you create all these important pages. This WordPress plugin comes with pre-made templates ready for you to use on your site, including the 19 below:
Linking policy template
External links policy template
Terms and conditions template
Refund policy template
Affiliate disclosure template
Affiliate agreement template
Earnings Disclaimer template
Double dart cookie template
FTC statement template
Medical disclaimer template
Testimonials disclosure template
Amazon affiliate template
California Privacy Rights
What’s New: The latest version allows you to add affiliate disclosure to any post or page having affiliate links. All you have to do is tick the checkbox for affiliate disclosure.
ADDED BONUS: Use the coupon code LEGAL20 before the end of September and receive a $20 discount off the base price. Offer ends September 30. Be quick!
Do you travel a lot? Whether its a quick weekend escape, or a trek around the globe, a journal of your adventures is a great way to share your travel highlights, keep in touch with friends and savor your memories.
Free isn’t always free.
A good place to start for many travel adventurers is WordPress.com and Tumblr. Two microblogging websites that provide free blog space for you to start filling up. This is a great start if you don’t want the hassle of monthly or yearly payments, and just want some space online to share your travel blog.
Just remember there are limitations including size of content and layout, links you add and the simplicity of expanding your website.
Many of our friends and family have created a space online only to discover they want to utilise it more, create even more content, or perhaps even moneytise their efforts. In this case, we recommend a self hosted blog rather than your free WordPress or Tumblr options.
The benefits of a Self Hosted Website from Xmedia Digital Solutions.
We set up the hosting on your own domain, or a free subdomain.
We install WordPress ready for you to start blogging.
You have access to email accounts to match your domain name.
WordPress is super flexible and expandable.
We can add Global CDN to make access in different parts of the world easier.
You can post by email to your new WordPress blog.
If the future needs a bigger website, you have options. Think SEO, Landing Pages, Affiliate Links and more.
Video and Images look great on WordPress, and there is an image editor built in.
Costs start as low as $15/month, depending on what extra features you want setup.
We are great to deal with, and you have 24×7 email support.
So think long term before you setup your travel blog for your next adventure.
Have you already got a WordPress.com blog site? We can discuss options to transfer it to a new self hosted site.
Expand your horizons today with a self hosted WordPress travel blog from Xmedia Digital Solutions.
When it comes to website design and development, everyone is doing it. There are drag and drop page builders that allow you to create free websites, online blogging networks with free accounts and so many designers offering their services. What do you choose when you need a website?
With so many website design options to choose from, it is important to compare all the features and know what you are getting.
Here are five features of a website I believe many people neglect.
A simple one first up, favicons and site icons. With your website now being viewed across so many different devices, it is important to remember to cater for all of them. In terms of icons, we need to ensure web browser icons, shortcut icons and device icons are in your root directory. There are a few different sizes and resolutions you need to include, check out this post to get an idea of sizes and where to put the files.
Htaccess, robot and humans file, and sitemaps. The basic files that should be present in your root directory. The Htaccess file can include a lot of your site security options, whilst the sitemap and robots file is essential for search engine optimisation purposes. My ebook on WordPress security covers some of this, check it out here.
Meta tags and anchor text. In terms of search engine optimisation and making your site easily readable by Google and Bing search bots, correctly tagging elements such as your images, and ensuring you use correct meta titles and descriptions on all your pages is essential. Don’t forget about your anchor text to when it comes to links, and also whether you set external links as nofollow or follow.
Responsiveness and device love. With so many devices now accessing the internet, it is important to make sure your new website caters for them all. There are mobile phones and tablets, PC Windows, Linux and Mac computers with a variety of browser options and even large screen displays and gaming devices. Two ways you can go about this, firstly you could create a mobile only version of your website alongside your main site, alternatively you could use a responsive layout for your website which will alter it’s dimensions and container fields to cater for the specific screen size. I would recommend designing your to best cater to mobile users as this makes us about 80% of online users. On a sidenote, whatever you do choose, make sure it does the job fast and effectively as speed or lack of it will kill your SEO and user interaction.
I hope this helps give you a bit more of a checklist when looking to build a new website. Keep it mobile and search engine friendly, as well as easy to use for visitors and making sure it displays correctly no matter the device it is on.