We recently were invited to join an up and coming network strictly for web design professionals, marketing firms, and IT companies as well as SEOs called Clutch.co.
Our profile is basic contact info and some background, nothing new, but the whole system is built to gain verified REAL reviews for our company from actual clients. Here is a link to the VisionFriendly.com Clutch Profile.
We reached out to a few clients to get reviews initially and the response was astounding! Our clients spoke so highly of us the CEO of our company read their comments to the company to show us his appreciation.
The process is pretty great, Clutch gets the customers name and contact info from us and they interview the customers over the phone and write up their responses and publish them to your profile. They give ratings out of 5 on quality, scheduling, cost, overall rating, and willingness to refer others.
Not surprisingly we have all 5 star ratings and the comments were extremely kind.
Please feel free to contact Clutch.co to leave a review for VisionFriendly.com and tell us how we've done well and how we can make your experience a better one.
By Bobby Fischer
Every time someone does a search on Google, on their desktop or on their phones, they will see both organic results and paid Adwords ads. What if I told you that making the effort on your organic SEO's content generation can carry over to help your Google Adwords or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns. It can.
Quality Score vs New Content
To improve any site's SEO visibility and ranking, it's common knowledge that if you add new content and refresh older content on a regular basis you can see true growth. According to Google Adwords, pointing your ads at relevant content in relation to your keyword phrases in your ad campaigns can improve your quality score. The "quality score" on Google Adwords is determined by how informative and related is the content on the page the ad is pointing to. If your ad directs clicks to a home page or contact page, your quality score can be low, keeping your click costs high.
When you have your Adwords ads pointed at well written, keyword focused content, your quality score can go up, bringing your click costs down.
Writing for SEO can be 2-for-1
When developing content for keyword phrases, write to be helpful, informative, even educational. The better quality the content, the better the SEO results. People share great content all the time on a variety of subjects. If you cover a subject well enough, the sharing response alone can make you famous overnight if it's shared enough.
You can take advantage of your well written content with your Google Adwords. No need to write new or different content specifically for Adwords. Search engines will see the content and you can improve your quality score and get better click costs using the same content. Its truly a 2-for-1 effort.
What's More Important SEO or PPC?
If you are wondering how to balance SEO and PPC, the answer is there is no wrong answer. If you are aggressive with PPC, your SEO doesn't have to be. In my opinion, if your SEO is lacking, but you are working on it, turn up the PPC budgets to get the traffic while you are building up the organic results. As you start to rank better and better, you can reduce your PPC campaigns or leave them up for even more business. The choice is yours but like I said, there is no wrong way when you are putting forth an effort. The only mistake you could make is not doing anything.
For more information about SEO improvement options or Google Adwords consultation or management advise, contact VisionFriendly.com today. Now you know how our SEO program and Pay-Per-Click campaign can get you on the fast track to visibility and traffic on Google.
By Bobby Fischer
Before you start writing anything, whether it's to rank on search engines, convert sales and leads, or help your customers learn an insider tip, etc. Ask yourself a few questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- What am I going to be talking about?
- What do I want the reader to do?
Once you have answered these three questions, the content can write itself. Not really but metaphorically.
Who is my target audience?
Writing for SEO should be approached from two directions and for two different purposes. Writing for a search engine only will ruin any literary rhythm you could ever have. It will sound redundant, let alone, clunky like a monster truck commercial. "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!" or it your case, "Buy This, Buy This, Buy This!".
Remember, first of all, you are writing your content for humans, your customers, your clients, current and future. You are also writing to draw the attention of search engines, so what I tell all my clients is simply, "use your nouns". Look for opportunities to use the actual name of a product or service, or sneak in a branding opportunity. I never use we, us, our, or "the company". Tell people who you are.
What am I going to be talking about?
Once you've decided on a subject matter to talk about, the best thing you can do is focus on that. The overall theme of each individual page should be one service or product. Deviate if you must to pair or recommend RELATED products or services but keep it close to the mark. Websites written well for SEO will have large numbers of pages, some for each product or services, services areas like cities or states, even for countries for international SEO. Don't try to fit everything you sell and offer on one page. That is what navigation buttons are for. To get your visitors where they want to go next.
What do I want the reader to do?
Calls to action or conversion devices should be available by default in your web design. At the very least you should have your phone number in the heading of every page, even in the footer if possible. The difference between someone visiting your site and someone becoming a customer could be as simple as an invitation. If on every page you closed your text with "To get started, call us now at....", you now increased your chances of someone visiting that page to call you. Another more aggressive options is to title and write the page well to rank for SEO and right at the beginning, have an eye catching "get started" button. If readers gleam a page and see how simple it is to get what they need, they just might.
Finally, FORMS, do you have one? You should. Forms are not just for contact pages anymore. If there is room, and a good designer will make room, you should have a simple form on the right column so customers can fill it out and expect a response. The less steps the better.
Think about it, a customer is on a page, and they like what they see. "Oh a form, easy!". You now have a potential customer's information. Secondly, if you have your analytics installed, you can track what pages are getting forms submitted. Track your hot and cold areas of your site. Get it? There are more pros than cons to giving extra calls to action. Less chances of lost customers too.
If you only have a form on the contact us page or just the phone number at the top, worst case scenario:
- What if the form gets broken?
- What if the Contact Us page is down or 404s?
- What if the form doesn't say what the visitor is interested in?
- What if your phone is busy?
- What if the phone number is wrong? (rare but it's happened)
What if, what if, what if! Don't take that chance, give yourself the best odds and you can't lose.
So without further ado, for more information on content writing for SEO, internationally successful SEO services, and award winning web design services, contact VisionFriendly.com today at 630.553.0000.
Google has officially announced that as of April 21st, 2015, the mobile-friendly tag you now see on mobile devices when you search on Google will be a ranking factor. Having a mobile-friendly compliant site, according to Google's criteria, will earn you an un-filtered spot in the new mobile rankings. Sites not having the mobile-friendly tag will be automatically bumped when an equal quality site has the tag criteria completed.
The tag as seen directly below the URL on the right screenshot, started as a notification to the user that this site will operate properly on your mobile devices.
That is still true, however, starting April 21st, not having that tag will effect where your site appears in the mobile rankings competitively.
How important is the Mobile-Friendly tag?
In a recent survey, 60% of American internet users now use mobile devices, that includes phones and tablets, to search for local businesses and a large portion for online shopping.
Prior to April 21st, 2015, Google had one set of results for both desktop and mobile users. After April 21st, there will be two.
One for desktop users and another "filtered" set of results for mobile users, no matter how well your main site is optimized.
These two ranking results will be parallel for all sites compliant with the mobile friendly standards Google sets and the sites that earn the mobile-friendly tag.
If your site does not pass, sites with any flash or older CSS won't, you will have to invest time and/or money into updating your website to be up-to-snuff.
Google does offer a free Mobile Friendly testing tool, click the link to check your site.
VisionFriendly.com has been building mobile-friendly compliant sites since the tag was initiated last year, in 2014. So if you or your business need help becoming "mobile-friendly" or you are shopping for a new site all together, VisionFriendly.com can help with your site's design, your SEO, and even your hosting and emails. Don't hesitate to call and keep your site in front of your customers on any device.
By Bobby Fischer
As search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing change their expectations and standards, so shall we adapt our websites to follow suit. There are classic SEO ideas that are still true today like 70 characters or less Meta Title Tags, or 155 character max Meta Description tags. However, some things change on search engines faster than some SEO's can keep up with. Here is an easy to follow list that will keep you honest and help your SEO stay white hat and performing well.
1. Include Keywords in Page URLs
Stop making /services, /about, /contact, /locations pages. It's useless and a pain for SEO's to redo correctly. When you are creating pages, be mindful of your page naming conventions to capitalize on a more robust keyword or branding opportunity. One of the first things search engines look at for ranking factors is the URL so get rid of weak URLs.
2. Focus Pages on One Keyword Phrase
Search engines are going to read all the pages you have built and why not have some organization and some focus. Choose one primary focus keyword per page and stick with it. Yes, you should use that phrase elsewhere but it's core definition and a full detail of the product or service should be covered in one all-inclusive page. If you can't write a solo page about a service, you should not be offering that service.
3. There is NO End to SEO, Stop Asking
I can't tell you how many times I have been asked how long SEO will take and how much more work will get a page to the top. It's not a set distance, there is no max out. You can do too much too fast when it comes to SEO, but your SEO effort should be ongoing as long as the site is live. Don't blow your annual marketing budget on SEO alone. Diversify and try new avenues and use Google Adwords, its there to help businesses get visibility quickly. Improving your quality score on Adwords with appropriate content on landing pages will help two fold, the Adwords spending will increase and your organic results can climb due to the great content. Double win!
4. Get an SSL, Even If You Don't Need One
Having an HTTPS is becoming an SEO ranking signal on Google whether we like it or not. If your website is built properly and it should have a contact form or lead generating tool of some kind to connect with your customers, an SSL is not out of the question for you. SSLs were meant for ecommerce sites collecting credit card info. That doesn't mean people don't appreciate it when they know their phone number and email aren't being distributed either. While it may be a small factor, every little bit adds up to a large chunk in the competitive world of SEO.
5. Mobile Friendly - It's Already a Thing
Google already is verifying compliance with their Mobile Friendly standards by adding a very obvious tag on mobile device search results. "Mobile Friendly" means your site meets the Google standard for mobile sizing, alignments, buttons, text size, etc. Your site already may meet the requirements but it's not hard to comply with. So take the time and get your site Mobile Friendly. It could, rumor alert, become a mobile ranking factor so it won't be a total waste if it does. Allegedly, mobile users are already trending to only click mobile friendly sites so it could be a good marketing tool as well.
Hope these tips will point everyone in the right direction for SEO in 2015.
By Carver Koch
As AdWords advertisers, we know the difficulties of finding keywords that bring in valuable, relevant traffic. We’re constantly looking for new keywords that’ll bring in more conversions than all of our keywords combined, but unfortunately that’s not possible in the increasingly competitive PPC world.
Well we say when you can’t find what you’re looking for on the outside, maybe it’s time to look on the inside – or in this case keywords you’re currently using already!
What Are Negative Keywords and How Do They Work
Chances are if you’ve been in the PPC game awhile you’ve no doubt heard about the importance of negative keyword use, but if you’re new to PPC optimization, this article will help you big time! Negative keywords are essentially the exact opposite of the keywords you are targeting in that they are keywords you do not want your ads showing for.
For example, if your store offers absolutely nothing for free whether it be free shipping, free samples, or free delivery – you can simply add the keyword “free” to your negative keyword list and your keywords and/or ads will never trigger for a search query including the word “free” even if a keyword your are targeting is in the search query. This is a fantastic way to prevent irrelevant traffic (that would never convert in the first place) from clicking your ads.
But Where Do I Add Negative Keywords?
Adding negative keywords is actually quite simple. All you’ll need to do is navigate to any of your ad groups and scroll to the very bottom of the page. Once there, click the + icon to expand the negative keyword dropdown to see two options: adding negative keywords on the ad group level or the campaign level. Negative keywords added on the ad group level will only affect the ad group they’re added to whereas adding a negative keyword to the campaign level will affect every ad group under that campaign which is simple enough.
How Do I Find Negative Keywords?
Fortunately for us advertisers, there’s a ton of great ways to find insight on negative keywords ranging from generators to generic lists, but there first place I’d recommend looking is your search term reports found right in Google AdWords.
Search Term Reports
Googles search term reports show exactly (to some degree) what search queries triggered your ads to show and more often than not, there will always be some variations triggering your ads to show when you’d rather they don’t know matter how well optimized.
Simply head over to your keywords tab, select whichever keyword(s) you’d like to report on and click the details dropdown to get the search terms report options to show. If you selected just a few keywords, you’ll be selecting ‘Selected’ to see a report for just the checked keywords. Choosing ‘All’ very obviously shows you a report for every keyword you target.
*Choosing ‘All’ is generally not recommended as it becomes much more confusing to determine which search query was triggered by what keyword!
After you make your selection, depending on your date range, you’ll see a list of keywords and their performance. To add a keyword to your negative keywords, simply check any of the keywords your see and click “Add as negative keyword”, choose either the ad group or campaign level, click Save and you’re all set to prevent your ads from showing for that search query!
*Note the notorious ‘Other Search Terms’ section at the bottom of the list. These are keywords that triggered your ads within the last 24 hours that hasn’t yet populated as well as keywords Google has deemed too irrelevant to show you (which should make you cringe - why not show us these Google!?).
Google Search Recommendations
In addition to the search term reports, another great method to find potential negative keywords is by using the recommendations that Google gives you before finishing a search bar. It can be reasoned that if Google is recommending it in a search query you target, your ad could be considered relevant enough for Google to show it.
While they may not be Google, I’d recommend doing this on other search engines to help brainstorm even more negative keyword ideas.
If you’re new to the negative keyword brainstorming game or want a quick fix for generic search queries to add to your negative keyword list I recommend a simple search of “negative keyword lists” as there are tons of posts out there giving you hundreds of keywords that you may want to add to your negative keyword list. These will range from industry to industry so I highly recommend reviewing any list you may find before adding the entire list as it could prevent your ads from showing for search queries that you actually want to show for!
By: Bobby Fischer
When people ask what VisionFriendly.com does, we usually smile, take a big/deep breath and let out our services:
- Web Design
- Web Development
- Pay-Per-Click (Google Adwords)
- Social Media
- Video Production
- Corporate Identity / Branding
- Email Hosting
- Website Hosting
- And the newest edition to our services is Reputation Management
VisionFriendly.com strives to be a one-stop-shop when it comes to business marketing and especially internet solutions. We can design, host, optimize and brand your website, ads, business cards, and emails for you. Clients love that they only have one number to call and they will always get a person answering the phone.
While we have a few jack-of-trades at VisionFriendly.com, most of us are specialists in a single department. We are experts in our particular field and we rely on each other and communicate constantly to get websites completed quickly, efficiently, and with very little difficulty.
Our video team can film, edit, and render DVD quality videos of any event, lecture, showcase, factory, machine, product demo, or employee profiles, all in house. So not only is your website going to be amazing, but your content can be generated and developed by us as well.
When it comes to SEO, there is no end game, there is no final step. SEO evolves, SEO changes, SEO requires maintenance to be successful and functional. Once a site is online, it's visibility can improve on search engines with SEO. A weekly or monthly effort to continually refresh and expand a website draws in the attention of search engines. SEO allows all the design and development work that has been done to make the site look and function well can be seen by current and prospective clients. Otherwise, a website is nothing more than an online brochure. No one can find your site without SEO unless they search for your company name or website directly.
It's the services that you offer that potential clients will search for. The products you sell that everyone needs or wants. That's where SEO comes in, giving your site valuable visibility for keyword phrases that customers will search for.
Not only can we create your website and videos but VisionFriendly.com has professional copy writers for marketing or search engine performance that can write your pages for you or guide you with your own writing. Our team is dedicated to the success of your business and your success, we consider our own.
We are here to help, and yes we can do it all, better than most, equal to none.
By: Carver Koch
AdWords Callout Ad Extensions & Why You Should Use Them
Earlier this month Google released the addition of callouts, an ad extension in Google AdWords that enables advertisers to display unique promotions and other information about their website, services or products with their ads.
The callout ad extension essentially does what sitelink ad extensions already do, minus linking to an actual landing page. Callout ad extensions are purely meant to draw traffic based on the benefits displayed. For example, if you offer 24/7 emergency pest control services, create a callout detailing “24/7 Emergency Services” and now traffic will know you offer emergency services before even clicking. Callouts allow advertisers to display unique offers their competition can’t give.
For callouts to show up with your ads, you must have a minimum of two callouts but it’s recommended that at least four as that’s the max number that can show at once. Each callout is limited to a 25 character limit. You can also choose whether they’re account, campaign or ad group specific.
So Why Use Them?
Google added it.
Remember - Google makes money when your ads receive a click, which means they added callouts as a way to increase your ads click through rates and ad engagement. All good stuff for advertisers!
Callouts increase your ad space.
When you add callout extensions to your ads, an additional line of text appears in your ad meaning you have more room to grab attention, so make use of it!
Callouts factor in to your ad rank!
Currently, not all accounts have access to callout ad extensions, but once 100% of AdWords accounts are eligible, the callout ad extension will factor into ad rankings like every other ad extension, so be prepared and activate yours as soon as you can.
You can make better use of ad text space.
One of the biggest benefits here is that you don’t have to worry about throwing in “free shipping” directly into your ad text anymore. This can be shown right through callout ad extensions meaning you now have extra room in your ad text to show more details your traffic will care about.
Here’s how to add callout ad extensions:
Simply log on to AdWords, navigate to the appropriate campaign and head over to the Ad Extensions tab. Go to the ad extension dropdown and select Callout extensions.
Click the orange plus extension button and then click the plus new callout button to create a callout and customize its text and scheduling to your liking. Save your work and you’re all set to display callout extensions.
If you do not see the callout ad extension option, don’t worry. Google is rolling out this feature slowly to all accounts over the next month and will be available to all Google AdWords accounts very soon.