Mobile is critical to your online success. Not simply whether you have a mobile website or not, but how well does it perform, how easy is it to use, how quickly does it download, and how good does it look? Mobile websites and online commerce have grown rapidly in the last few years.  With such rapid growth, some of the buzzwords and definitions have gotten a little fuzzy. Specifically, what the heck is the difference between a responsive and an adaptive website? Is there a difference? Which one do I need? […]

Woman with loudspeaker

If you’ve ever been in charge of your company’s website (or are considering having a site built), you know that there are some industry terms that designers, developers, and consultants throw around. If you’re not a techie, you might sometimes feel like your web designer is speaking a foreign language. Sometimes you might recognize a buzz-word you heard on the news or read about in a business journal. Sometimes, these are technical terms that just go with the terrain. All of them are necessary for you to understand though – to make sure you get the most out of your site and your service providers. […]

Audience Retargeting

Retargeting – also know as remarketing – is a powerful online marketing tool. You’ve probably heard the term, but maybe you’re not quite sure what it is, and whether it is something you should be doing (the answer is likely YES!). So let’s take a look at retargeting, how it is done, and the benefits to your bottom line.

Audience Retargeting

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Asking your customers for reviews on Google is a great strategy for building your local search results and positively managing your reputation online. However, Google has safeguards in place to discourage fraudulent or spammy reviews, and you don’t want to run afoul of their guidelines which can end up costing you. You reviews might be removed from Google, and your “bad reputation” might have a negative impact on your local search rank.

Here are some methods of getting legitimate reviews from your customers without violating Google’s policies:

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Digital tablet with blank screen in coffee shop cafe

Everyone knows what bad design looks like. I know what you’re thinking: If everyone knows what bad design looks like, then why do people still think animated flaming skulls on websites are a good idea? […]

Your website is an opportunity for you to make a good impression and help existing and potential customers decide whether or not they should do business with you.  Even if your business is mostly offline (i.e. you don’t have an ecommerce site), you should still be very worried about the impression you are making online.  The majority of consumers now use the web to research everything from the new restaurant that opened downtown to the accounting firm they are considering bringing business to next year.  Even if their purchase or business transaction will happen in the “real” world, their decision is often made before you even get to meet your potential customer.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so avoid these common pitfalls at all costs! […]

More and more, a company’s website is the first, valuable interaction with a new customer. Is your website stuck in the Stone Age (and by Stone Age, I mean the 90’s and 00’s)?  What impression are you giving the 58% of American adults who according to Pew Research Center research the products and services they are interested in online before purchasing or engaging a company? […]

Just to prove that no aspect of online technology can sit still for any longer than a 7-year-old, last week Google launched an updated version of what it previously called its “Rich Snippet Test Tool”. As part of the deal, it’s gotten a new name — the Structured Data Testing Tool . The page is a great deal more sparse than the previous version because all of the help content has been moved to a separate page.

The testing tool continues to support markup for rich snippet search results, but now pulls out authorship markup elements as well. Note that authorship markup is a separate element from a web article’s provenance, or creative history. Establishing and maintaining a web pages’ provenance is still a hot topic amongst semantics experts, hopefully to be resolved at some point in the future. […]

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written several posts about structured data markup and the increasing importance of building machine-readable context and descriptions into content that’s created for the web. Structured data is already used by the major search engines to provide enhanced search result listings, and it’s also used by mobile search providers to produce more accurate local search results.

The trouble is that the world of structured data isn’t all nice, neat and orderly. There’s no single standard “how to” on using structured data markup. The W3C — the organization that develops and manages most of the web’s open standards — recommends two different structured data specifications. The Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa) was developed over a period of years by a W3C working group. The Microdata specification was promoted primarily by the major search players (Google, Yahoo and Bing), and then taken on by another W3C working group in a sort of shotgun wedding. […]

For the average small business website, which type of search results are the most important? Maybe a better way to phrase that is: Where are your customers? If you run a restaurant in Ocala, are you going to get more customers from Summerfield, or from Hahira, GA?

Local businesses have local customers. It stands to reason that a local business website needs to have its strongest presence in local searches. So how do you give your business website greater search appeal for local users?

Mobile search is bringing about rapid change in local online marketing. The exact number varies depending on the source, but it’s a safe bet that at least 800 million location-relevant searches are conducted from mobile devices each month — and the number of mobile searches is growing every month as more people begin to use mobile digital devices. […]

In last week’s blog post, I wrote about structured data markup. That brings up the question of why you might want to consider adding some elements of this markup vocabulary to your website’s code.

I’ve read a few articles in prominent, non-technical publications that promote the use of structured data markup — using the Microdata format sponsored primarily by Google, Bing and Yahoo — as a method of improving SEO. Unfortunately, that’s not quite accurate. In fact, the major search engines have made it abundantly clear that using an extended markup like Microdata (or any of the other vocabularies) has no impact on a page’s search ranking. […]

If you’re very observant, or if you just spend a lot of time poking at Google or Bing, over the last year or so perhaps you’ve noticed that the search engines are returning results that are a lot more informative than they used to be. “Old” style search are familiar and straightforward; they’ve got a page title, a URL and some text (usually from the content). […]