Monthly Archives: November 2020
- Consumers expect ≈ and apps to respond quickly. Each second of delay can cost $ 100K in lost revenue for brands.
- There are tools to help understand a page’s overall speed. Looking at the relationship between page speed and SEO ranking shows that having a faster performing site/page does impact ranking in a positive way, albeit slightly.
- As marketers look for additional data points about why they should prioritize page speed, Jason Tabeling highlights the data and how it fits into an overall SEO strategy.
The saying is, “Speed Kills.” However, when it comes to digital speed, it’s really, “Slow speed kills.” According to a study by Google and Deloitte for every 0.1 seconds that your page speed improves can increase your conversion rates by 8%. That data point creates a pretty powerful business case to improve the performance of your site. Think about this data point from your own experience browsing the web, mobile, and desktop. Have you ever found that a page was just loading too slow that you moved on to something else, or that brand lost the sale? I know I have.
So, we know that speed improves page performance, but what about how it impacts SEO rankings? I took a look at a small data set to try to get a sense of the impact that page speed has on rankings. I took 10 retail and conversion based keywords and ran the specific webpages through the Google Page Speed Test to look at the correlation between speed and rank. This data set gives a good directional study on the impact. Here is what I found;
Rank and page speed are only slightly correlated
Creating a scatter plot of each website’s rank with the page speed shows the distribution. The data does show a relationship between speed and rank. The correlation of the data suggests there is just a 0.08 correlation. A correlation of 1 would be perfectly correlated. So, this score isn’t very high, but there is a correlation and when you are looking for an edge and you know the impact speed has on conversion rates becomes very meaningful. The way to forecast the impact is to use the trendline and its slope. If you remember your algebra class you can use this data to create the equation of a line and estimate what your page speed needs to be a achieve a certain rank. Using that equation you can see that every 10 points of additional speed roughly equals a tenth of a point in rank improvement. So moving from a speed score of 10 equals a rank of 5.3, but a page speed of 100 would equal a rank of 4.4. This might not seem like a big deal, but remember speed dramatically improves conversion rates and has a positive impact on rank as well.
What action should you take?
Here’s an outline of a few steps you can take to optimize your speed.
1. Improve your page speed
There are a lot of opportunities for brands to increase their page speed. Probably the most surprising thing was how many sites had very slow speed rankings. Look at the data in the histogram below. 56% of page speed scores came back <20. That is pretty remarkable considering there are some very well known brands in this study. There are so many opportunities to improve page speed and Google’s tool, and many others provide very step by step actions to take to improve. If you haven’t run your site through this tool or another one you should do that to start – https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/testmysite/
2. Don’t forget that speed is important but it’s just one of many factors that impact SEO rankings
While this article is about speed, it should be clear that SEO has many more key items that impact rank and overall results than speed. SEO is a holistic strategy that includes content and technical resources. You can’t forget about how well your content resonates with your audience, how fresh it is, and how well the search engine spiders can crawl and understand your site. So many businesses get caught up in their re-platforming their ecommerce platform and never put a minute of thought into the SEO strategy.
The post Page speed is a big deal – Why? It impacts SEO rankings appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
- Once you have the right product and pricing, succeeding with your online store essentially boils down to effective digital marketing and delivering a top-notch customer experience.
- For ecommerce, in particular, SEO — or ranking on the first page of Google — plays a huge role in effective marketing and online branding, as it builds trust in the eyes of your audience which paid ads can’t. And trust translates to a better customer experience.
- Here we discuss three proven SEO tactics that boost your search engine rankings while also enhancing your brand’s customer experience in ways that go beyond trust-building.
Your modern online store has a lot of moving parts, with hundreds to thousands of different product pages, numerous variations of the same page, and dynamic elements. And you’re well aware of the importance of having your store rank on the first page of Google — more traffic, brand awareness, trust, and sales. However, SEO today is not just about including the right keywords and building backlinks to your online store but is closely knit with providing a great user or customer experience (CX).
When you work on your SEO by keeping the customer experience aspect in mind, you’ll build a store that not only garners top rankings and tons of organic traffic but also converts that traffic into customers.
In this post, let’s take a look at three tried-and-true SEO tactics that directly improve your store’s search visibility while also establishing an outstanding customer experience.
Tactic #1: Make your store load lightning fast
Page speed is one of the most critical factors that can make or break your store’s rankings and CX. Most people today lack the patience to wait for even three-to-five seconds for your website to load, and won’t think twice before bouncing off to a competitor.
Source: Think With Google
Site speed is an official Google ranking factor since 2010. Thus, optimizing your store’s speed is pivotal to both search rankings and CX.
That being said, the sheer number of visuals and dynamic elements on your store can make this seemingly straightforward task a tall order.
The best way to go about optimizing your site speed is to run your site through a free tool such as GTmetrix or Google’s PageSpeed Insights to assess how your site performs currently. These tools will generate a list of suggestions and optimization opportunities that you can then check off one by one to make your store lightning fast.
For example, you may have bulky image files that need to be compressed using an image compression tool. Or, you may have yet to enable browser caching so repeat visitors don’t have to reload the entire page each time.
Similarly, it is possible that you have too many unnecessary redirects in your product pages or render-blocking resources that negatively impact your site speed. Use the aforementioned tools to pinpoint the exact reasons for suboptimal speed, and then work to individually improve every aspect.
Tactic #2: Ensure content on all pages is unique and updated
Google wants you to have unique, high-quality content on every URL of your store. But with countless URLs owing to product variations and categories, this can become a tough nut to crack.
That’s because, on top of creating unique, keyword-optimized, and descriptive content for each product page, you must take care of internal search result pages and product filters (such as color and size) that result in too many low-value duplicate pages which you don’t want Google to index.
And duplicate content (for instance, multiple colors or sizes of the same shirt) can seriously hurt your SEO.
To dodge this, opt for one of these three options:
- Include a canonical tag (rel=canonical) on product variation pages that points to the main product page.
- Place a “noindex” tag on the pages you don’t want Google to index.
- Block the variations within your robots.txt file.
Next, you need to have a plan for dealing with outdated content, such as products that are discontinued or seasonal. You need to deal with such content in a way such that the SEO value is not lost and customers aren’t left confused.
The easiest way to do that is to use 301 redirects to point old URLs to the new ones. This way, visitors get the most up-to-date content on the product they are looking for (thus ensuring consistent customer experience), while the link juice from the original URL is correctly passed on to the new page.
Tactic #3: Focus on the mobile experience
Online shopping on smartphones and tablets has become mainstream in the last decade. Today, mobile is where the money’s at.
Take a look at these numbers from the recent holiday shopping seasons:
- On Black Friday ($ 6.2 billion in online revenue in 2018), nearly 40% of sales on the conventionally brick and mortar shopping day came via a mobile device.
- On Cyber Monday ($ 9.2 billion in online revenue in 2019), 54% of visitors came from mobile devices, while around 33% purchases on their mobile device, up over 40% from the previous year.
What’s more, in 2021, 53.9% of all retail ecommerce is expected to be generated via mobile. In other words, odds are that the bulk of your visitors are coming from a smartphone or tablet than a desktop.
Despite that, 84% of users have experienced difficulties in completing mobile transactions. This means you have a great opportunity to surpass your competitors in terms of customer experience (CX) and rankings by creating a mobile-friendly store.
Due to Google’s mobile-first indexing, the mobile version of your store (not the desktop!) is the benchmark for how Google indexes your website and determines your rankings.
Follow these best practices for a stronger mobile experience:
- Incorporate a responsive design, so all the content on your store automatically adjusts to the screen size. This way, you serve the same HTML code and URLs regardless of the visitor’s device.
- Mobile page speed is an official ranking factor, so ensure optimal speed on mobile by optimizing images, enabling compression, minifying CSS and JS, avoiding redirects, improving server response times, and leveraging browser caching.
- Don’t forget usability. Make your store easy to navigate, even on mobile. Enable autofill for contact forms, wherever possible. Make buttons large enough to be easily clickable. After all, Google rewards excellent experience no matter the device.
Furthermore, make sure to avoid these common mobile UX mistakes:
- Unplayable video content (due to Flash)
- Illegibly small font size
- Cluttered touch elements
Simply put, smartphone ecommerce is a growing trend and Google is prioritizing mobile experience. And so, focus on your store’s mobile-friendliness for better rankings and CX.
SEO and customer experience (CX) are two sides of the same coin
The modern customer won’t settle for anything less than a sublime online shopping experience, which starts from finding your store on the first page of search results to a fast loading site, up-to-date content, and beyond.
Coupled with the fact that search engines like Google have now evolved to a point where they’re able to reward remarkable customer experience with first-page rankings, you know you’ve got to work on your store’s SEO from a CX perspective.
The three tactics outlined above directly improve your SEO and CX, so focus on getting these right to not only boost your store’s search rankings and drive more organic traffic but also to render an impressive shopping experience that customers keep coming back to.
Harsh Agrawal is the pioneering blogger behind ShoutMeLoud, an award-winning blog with over 832K subscribers and a million Pageviews per month.
The post Customer experience optimization (CXO) for online stores: Three proven SEO tactics appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Catch up on the most important updates from this week.
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More people are traveling compared to prior months in 2020. One PPC expert discusses how to win market share, solidify bookings, and return to profitability.
Read more at PPCHero.com
These tunes (or “songs”, or anything you desire to call them), announce the gestures of recognition of God, they talk about God’s decency, sacredness. They announce the reality of God and his works. Now and then these tunes center additionally around the functions of sacred writing, and unbiasedly pronounce what occurred and what will occur. Numerous psalms are this way, which start with a decree of God’s integrity and end with the desire for restoration. Frequently, more seasoned Christians weep over the loss of revelatory tunes since present day love has watched out for, they state, move the concentrate away from God, to individuals.
Be that as it may, confession booth tunes are additionally essential for the melodic ordinance of the Church. Here, the Christians state “thank you” to God, they “demand” God’s quality, they admit their transgressions, they request absolution, they declare that God is genuinely essential for their lives.Telugu Christian songs download In contrast to the definitive melodies, these tunes center around the emotional experience of Christian living.
Where, paying little mind to the reality of the Bible, that God is most importantly, in some cases, God doesn’t feel most importantly in our life, some of the time God isn’t adulated by us consistently, so these tunes are a repetition of confidence, a longing to continue singing, continue lauding God.
In contrast to the decisive and confession booth tunes (which are melodies where the congregation or a person in the Church sings to God), the prophetic tunes talk from the perspective of God to the Church–the crowd is the Church. Strikingly, on the off chance that one googles “prophetic love” what turns up most generally is “free-form”/unconstrained love.
Nonetheless, prophetic as perceived as “talking forward the expression of God”, the objective of prophetic melodies is educate, to motivate the Church/assembly, to mix the congregation/devotees vigorously, or assist them with accomplishing something (recollect something); some of the time maybe even caution. To lay it out plainly, prophetic melodies are tunes that draw from sacred writing and addresses the Church from God’s perspective. The sacred writing in melody development had instances of these sorts of tunes; where the tune cited sacred writing spoke to God addressing the hearts of individuals.
Facebook and Instagram are running notifications in their respective apps informing U.S. users that the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election has not yet been determined. In large pop-ups appearing at the top of the Facebook and Instagram News Feeds, the notification states that “Votes Are Being Counted” and directs users to other in-app election resources.
Both apps are using the same language for their respective notifications:
“The winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election has not been projected yet. See more updates and learn what to expect as the election process continues.”
Critically, Facebook and Instagram have also added a timestamp to the notification to indicate its recency. As of November 4 at 9:57 a.m. EST, for example, the notification read that it was last updated at 9:00 a.m. EST.
The addition of a timestamp is useful not only because election results are still being counted — and will be for days to come, most likely — but also because President Trump prematurely claimed election victory early Wednesday morning before all votes were counted.
Facebook tells TechCrunch it began showing these notifications at the top of Facebook and Instagram feeds shortly after Trump posted to Facebook that he had won. The company also began labeling posts from both Trump and Vice President Biden in accordance with the policies it shared ahead of Election Day, it says.
On Facebook, Trump’s message earned itself a label that reminded users that election night results and final results may differ, but Facebook didn’t otherwise restrict the post.
As we noted at the time of the labeling, Facebook had begun displaying the notifications about there being no projected winner.
Having a timestamp on these posts is also important in the case that either app faces any sort of caching issues that would allow users to see out-of-date data, temporarily, until the app was refreshed.
This was an issue on Instagram yesterday, November 3, when a caching issue led to some users seeing a notification that read, vaguely, “Tomorrow is Election Day,” when in fact Election Day had already arrived.
Similarly, some users may not immediately see the notification appearing at the top of their Feed on Facebook or Instagram until their app refreshes. But there are no widespread complaints about this sort of issue today.
Ballot measures were approved in California to restrict commercial use of user data and in Michigan to require warrants for searches of electronic information.
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Online education tools continue to see a surge of interest boosted by major changes in work and learning practices in the midst of a global health pandemic. And today, one of the early pioneers of the medium is announcing some funding as it tips into profitability on the back of a pivot to enterprise services, targeting businesses and governments who are looking to upskill workers to give them tech expertise more relevant to modern demands.
Udacity, which provides online courses and popularized the concept of “nanodegrees” in tech-related subjects like artificial intelligence, programming, autonomous driving and cloud computing, has secured $ 75 million in the form of a debt facility. The funding will be used to continue investing in its platform to target more business customers.
Udacity said that part of the business is growing fast, with Q3 bookings up by 120% year-over-year and average run rates up 260% in H1 2020.
Udacity said that customers in the segment include “five of the world’s top seven aerospace companies, three of the Big Four professional services firms, the world’s leading pharmaceutical company, Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency, and three of the four branches of the United States Department of Defense”, which work with Udacity to build tailor-made courses for their specific needs, as well as use off-the-shelf content from its catalogue.
Udacity also works with companies to build programs as part of their CSR remits, and with tech companies like Microsoft to build programs to get more developers using their tools.
“We’re seeing tremendous demand on the enterprise and government side,” said Gabe Dalporto, Udacity’s CEO who joined the company in 2019. “But to date it’s mostly been inbound, with enterprises, Fortune 500 companies and government organizations coming in and wanting to work with us. Now it’s time to build out a sales team to go after them.”
The news today is a welcome turn of events for a company that has been in the spotlight over the years for less rosy reasons, partly because it found it challenging to land on a profitable business model.
Founded nearly a decade ago by three robotics specialists including Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford professor who at the time was instrumental in building and running Google’s self-driving car and larger moonshot programs, Udacity initially saw an opportunity to partner with colleges and universities to build online tech courses (Thrun’s academic standing, and the vogue for MOOCs, were possibly two fillips for that strategy).
After that proved to be too challenging and costly, Udacity pivoted to positioning itself as a vocational learning provider targeting adults, specifically those who didn’t have the hours or money to embark on full-time courses but wanted to learn tech skills that could help them land better jobs.
Currently, the company still provides direct-to-consumer (direct-to-learner?) courses, but it won’t be long, Dalporto said, before enterprise and government customers account for about 80% of the company’s business.
Previously, Udacity had raised nearly $ 170 million from a pretty illustrious group of investors that include Andreessen Horowitz, Ballie Gifford, CRV, Emerson Collective and more. This latest tranche is coming in the form of a debt facility from a single company, Hercules Capital.
Dalporto said the decision to take the debt route came after initially getting a number of term sheets for an equity round.
“We had multiple term sheets on the equity side, but then we received an unsolicited debt term sheet unsolicited,” he said. That led to the company modelling out the cost of capital and dilution, he said, and “it turned out it was the better option.” For now, he added, equity was “off the table” but it may consider revisiting the idea en route to a public listing. “For the foreseeable future, we are cash flow positive so there is no compelling reason right now, but we might do something closer to an IPO.”
Being a debt facility, this funding does not mean a revisiting of Udacity’s valuation. The company was last capitalized five years ago at $ 1 billion, but Dalporto would not comment on how that had changed in the (uncompleted) equity term sheets it had received.
Education is in session
The interest Udacity is seeing — both from investors and as a company — is part of the bigger spotlight that online education companies have had in the last year. In K-12 and university education, the focus has been on building better technology and content to help students stay engaged and continue learning even when they cannot be in their normal physical classrooms as schools, districts, governments and public health officials implement social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
But that’s not the only classroom where online education is getting called on. In the world of business, organizations that have also gone remote because of the pandemic are facing a matrix of challenges. How can they keep employees productive and feeling like part of a team when they no longer work next to each other? How do they make sure their workforces have the skills they need to work in the new environment? How do they make sure their own businesses are equipped with the right technology, and the expertise of people to run it, for this latest and future iterations of “work”? And how can governments make sure their economies don’t fall off a cliff as a result of the pandemic?
Online education has been seen as something of a panacea for all of these questions, and that has spelled a lot of opportunity for tech companies building online learning tools and other infrastructure — with others including the likes of Coursera, LinkedIn, Pluralsight, Treehouse and Springboard in the area of tech-related courses and learning platforms for workers.
As with other market segments like e-commerce, this isn’t about a trend emerging out of the blue, but about it accelerating much faster than people projected it would.
“Given Udacity’s growth, focus on sustainable business practices, and expanding reach across multiple industries, we are excited to provide this investment. We look forward to working with the company to help them sustain their impressive global growth, and continued innovation in upskilling and reskilling,” said Steve Kuo, Senior MD and Technology Group Head at Hercules Capital, in a statement.
In the areas of enterprise and government, Dalporto described a number of scenarios where Udacity is already active, which are natural progressions of the kind of vocational learning it was already offering.
They include, for example, the energy company Shell retraining structural and geological engineers “who had good math skills but no machine learning expertise” to be able to work in data science, needed as the company builds more automation into its operation and moves into new kinds of energy technology.
And he said that Egypt and other nations — looking to the success that India has had — have been providing technology expertise training to residents to help them find jobs in the “outsourcing economy.” He said that the program in Egypt has seen an 80% graduation rate and 70% “positive outcomes” (resulting in jobs).
“If you take just AI and machine learning, demand for these skills is growing at a rate of 70% year-over-year, but there is a shortage of talent to fill those roles,” Dalporto said.
Udacity is for now not looking at any acquisitions, he added, for another 6-12 months. “We have so much demand and work to do internally that there is no compelling reason to do that. At some point we will look at that but it needs to be linked to our strategy.”
- Although a business phone number isn’t as tough on your SEO as a complete rebrand, changing it can have an impact on your SEO.
- Preserving NAP consistency should be your primary goal when changing your phone number.
- Your marketing strategy can help make the transition easier for your customers, too, as you can notify them of the change ahead of time.
- The key goal in addition to retaining your ranking should be to not lose the trust of your customers by changing your information – hence the need to approach the process carefully.
Much like all other aspects of digital marketing and brand positioning, SEO is a constantly changing game. With so many moving pieces and evolving trends, it’s no wonder that brands aren’t quite certain which decisions will negatively impact their SEO, and which ones are safe enough to make.
One day, it seems that one kind of behavior is perfectly fine, while the next Google will penalize it because they’ve implemented algorithm changes. Add customer expectations into the mix, and it gets even more difficult to figure out just what’s worth the effort, and what should be left alone.
When it comes to your business details, including your name, address, and phone number (neatly packed into the notion of NAP information), change can be good. After all, entire companies have successfully rebranded without a hitch. However, changing a single piece of information such as your phone number can change the entire customer journey if not done right.
Here, we’ll tackle a few essential steps in the process to keep in mind, so that your phone number shift doesn’t impact your ranking or your brand perception negatively.
NAP it in the bud
Local search is a vital component of your overall SEO strategy, all the more so when you’re running a strictly local business with a physical presence, such as a pastry shop, a car repair facility, or a beauty salon. Your foot traffic heavily depends on your customers’ ability to find correct information online when they search for your services.
If they stumble upon an outdated number, they’ll call the next business in their search results with solid reviews and forget that you exist. Simply put, consistency matters. Google doesn’t want to disappoint its users, so it penalizes businesses with inconsistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information across the internet. As soon as your directories, your website and other online listings don’t show your actual phone number, your ranking will suffer.
The remedy is fairly simple. If you have decided to change your phone number or your entire communications system, for that matter, you should take the time to revise all your local business listings and directories where your company pops up.
NAP consistency is a vital ranking factor that can either plummet your business in the eyes of search engines, or it can help you reach those topmost desirable spots in the SERPs. So, while changing your business phone number might not be a cause for worry on its own, how you distribute it will greatly matter in local rankings.
Take care of your call tracking
Some businesses steer clear of call tracking simply because they aren’t sure how to go about it, afraid to damage their SEO in the process. Even more importantly with regards to call tracking, every business needs to adhere to those key legal requirements, such as the EU’s GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, to make sure their customers’ sensitive information is safe. But when the time comes to move from outdated landlines and change your numbers or merge them, you can also reap the benefits of this potentially SEO-beneficial process.
Wanting to unify and improve their communication systems, companies are switching to digital phone solutions such as voice over internet protocol (or VoIP for short). There are many perks of such a transition for call tracking, smarter customer support, and better customer engagement, all of which can support your SEO efforts in the long run. As you learn about VoIP and its many applications, you’ll be able to make the most of your phone-based interactions with your customers to serve your brand reputation, but also your ranking.
In addition to having more business phone numbers at your disposal if you need them, you should know that VoIP platforms come with other useful features such as call analytics, recording, emailing, and texting. Collecting all of that data and implementing SEO-safe call tracking with the help of Dynamic Number Insertion both work in favor of your SEO.
Building and preserving customer trust
When done right, changing your business phone number can be a seamless process that doesn’t do any damage to your ranking. However, it’s important to remember the reason for the ranking in the first place: search engines want to give users the best, most trustworthy results first and above all other available options online. In doing so, they reward businesses that accurately portray themselves online, and contact information is a vital component of that representation.
The basic premise goes as follows: if a customer calls you and gets a notification that the number no longer exists, they lose trust in your brand. Google and other search engines recognize that lack of trust and thus push other businesses above yours, with accurate and verified contact details available. In a sense, it’s customer trust that drives search engine ranking.
Research has confirmed this, as 80% of surveyed respondents in BrightLocal research have stated that they would lose trust in a business with incorrect and inconsistent contact details. If you’ve decided to change your phone number, making sure it’s consistently represented across all of your digital outlets is the key piece of your SEO puzzle: to preserve customer trust and thus to preserve your ranking.
Notifying the customer in time
Thankfully, you can make sure that your customers have the correct information in a few simple ways. If you’ve taken care of all of your business directory listings, your social media pages, messaging app presence, and your website, you can use your marketing strategy to get the word out.
Your subscribers and return customers will want to know that your business has changed a vital piece of information. Just like you don’t want them to spend an hour going to an old address of your café only to discover a weird-looking shop for plumbing supplies, you want to have your new number added to their contacts list.
You can use your weekly/monthly newsletter to notify them of the switch, post a social media update letting customers know the new number they can reach you on, and post a little announcement on your website, too, especially if you gain plenty of call traffic from all of these outlets.
Changing a business phone number can be a simple process in itself, but its impact on your business will not be unless you prepare properly. Taking care of all the business registers where your company is listed paired with implementing search engine-approved tracking tactics as well as customer engagement will be more than enough to help you through the process.
Emma Worden is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. You can find Emma on @EmmaRWorden.
The post Does changing your business phone number affect SEO? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
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