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Google has announced a roll-out of a new update known as the mobile first-index. This update simply means that Google will be using the mobile platform first to rank your web pages as opposed to the current desktop platform.

 

The shift to mobile-first index was motivated by the fact that more Google users today perform their searches through their mobile devices as opposed to desktop computers.

This essentially means Website and blog owners will have to shift to the new algorithm if they want to keep their traffic up.

This mobile first-index roll-out also means that even if your business or company doesn’t get traffic from mobile search, you will still need to shift to this new algorithm for best local SEO practices.

How does mobile first-indexing work?

Indexing is the process where Google identifies pieces of information from your web pages and makes them useful. Google recognizes that the aim is to satisfy user’s experiences whether they are searching through mobile or desktop. This simply means websites and blogs must now start focusing on the functionality of both mobile and desktop pages, although this is not unique to SEO experts as they understand that traffic pays their bills and they need to start migrating to the new algorithm right now.

This is clearly a monumental change in indexing. And even if you anticipated this change and have been working on mobile optimization for the past years, you still have a couple of things to master.

How can your business be prepared for this paradigm shift?

Google’s announcement of the mobile first indexing must have caught many business owners by surprise. However, there no need to panic. There are steps you can take to optimize your site right off to correspond with the Google announcement:

      • Run a mobile-friendly test to ascertain that your site is optimized for mobile search
      • For more information on Google optimization, look out for Google’s primary mobile guide
      • The Google how-to-guide can assist you to determine whether your third party hosting is working correctly
      • Do the following to optimize your site:
        • Optimize your mobile responsiveness – Most sites already have responsive designs, so they won’t need lots of optimization to be properly indexed for mobile search
        • Configure your mobile site – Your content markup may be different on the mobile and desktop. You will need to make changes.
        • Construct a mobile site – If you’re constructing a completely separate mobile site, it’s advisable to launch them when completely functional rather than half dormant. The desktop indexing will still continue, so there is no need to rush.
        • Verify both versions – If you have only verified the desktop version page, verify your web page mobile version too
        • Accessibility to Googlebots – Run the mobile-friendily test to ascertain that the mobile version of your web page is accessible to Googlebots for ease of indexing.
        • Availability of canonical links – You don’t need to make any changes if your site has canonical links. Google will continue using these links on both mobile and desktop versions.
        • Structured data testing – You need to run this test for URLs and compare output.

 

One of the biggest upsides is that the ranking will still be based on both desktop and mobile.

Stay ahead of the updates and trends by getting a consultation with our experts today! info@i3megamarketinggroup.com

 

If you are in the process of starting up a business or the owner of a newly established business one of your key considerations is going to be how you invest in your marketing. 

After the contracts are signed, you start bringing in revenue, or get approved for a business loan, allocating funds, between advertising, office space, and promotional material can add up. 

Marketing is extremely important in the process of scaling up your business to a successful and profitable company. You might have an innovative business idea, insightful research and incredibly hard working employees but without the correct marketing your start-up is set to fail. Hard work does not always pay off, but magnificent marketing does.

When investing in marketing it is important you consider what platforms and people will work best for your business.

Social media is an essential element of 21st century marketing. A business today cannot survive without it. However, there are thousands of social media platforms and not every single one will benefit your business so it is important that you take time think about and weigh up the different options. As you are deciding which platform to choose you must always keep your target customer in mind. The entire point of social media marketing is to put you in contact with your best audience, so make sure you find out where your audience is hanging out online. Do not be fooled by data like followers, while this suggests an audience once was present it does not guarantee an active audience: in fact, a 2019 report claimed as many as 50% of all Facebook accounts were fakes while only a portion of Twitter users have been active in the last month. Once you have located where your active audience are residing you can start to differentiate your marketing for each platform.

Marketing should be adapted to each social media platform. For example, if your chosen social media platform is Instagram you should focus your marketing on image based and heavily branded content, if your platform is Twitter you should build loyalty by making your audience feel more connected to you or if your platform is LinkedIn you should tailor your marketing messages to other businesses.

Alongside the dominant social media platforms you might also want to investigate what niche social media sites could work well for your business. There is an endless list of niche sites available online for every business: for example, Untappd is a fantastic site for beer lovers while Ravelry is a go to site for all knitter enthusiasts.

Alongside social media you might also want to launch your own website or Kickstarter for crowdfunding. If you are choosing between a website or a Kickstarter there are positives and negatives to both.

 

Firstly, both platforms would require a lot of time to be invested. Your website is a representative of your business standards and professionalism so you must make sure it aesthetically represents this. Similarly, launching any project online on Kickstarter is going to require a lot of time investment. Most campaigns run for 30 days and that it without taking into account the months of preparation work preceding and following the campaign.

Secondly, both platforms will require expertise. A website will predominantly be text based so communication must be concise and persuasive. This might entail the extra expense of hiring a writer to produce material that will attract an audience. In contrast, previous Kickstarter pages have shown that video resources are often successful. Creating a compelling video is not an easy feat: not only will you need a great script but you will also have to consider purchasing recording and editing equipment and learning how to successfully utilize it.

To maintain a consistent marketing presence for your business you may want to bring in an in house marketing expert or hire an agency. Again, there are pros and cons to both.

For smaller businesses, hiring an agency make be an expense you cannot afford. However, it is worth noting that most marketing agencies do not work for one company alone and instead divide their time between many. This means a part time wage compared to an in house employee who might demand full time pay.

i3 mega marketing

If you are a larger business your marketing might be too complex for just one person. Most marketing employees specialize in one field, and unfortunately this would mean losing out on other fields. An agency, however, would be able to bring to the table many marketing professionals who all boast different expertise. What’s more, those who work in agencies will constantly be learning and adapting to all the businesses they serve, and this differentiation can only work as a positive for your business.

If you are looking to hire a marketing professional or agency it is vital that you bring in the right talent for your business. Ensure that you are hiring people who completely buy into your business ethos and will be loyal to your business. Working alongside a dedicated marketing professional or agency will make the process of setting up your business far less lonely or overwhelming.

Our team is always looking to take on new projects so Text Us with your ideas today! 214-856-0631

 

With search engines furnishing rich results at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) — from the knowledge panel to the map pack — consumers today are more likely to expect answers to their queries without clicking through to a webpage.

Featured snippets are a huge part of this. For example, if someone searches “does Taco Bell have gluten-free options?” this query is answered in a featured snippet result at the top of the SERP. Additionally, featured snippets are also the primary strategy for winning a share of voice search at present, as they are likely to serve a voice assistant’s preferred answer.

Here’s the Taco Bell example:

You’ll notice that the information in this featured snippet is pulled directly from the Taco Bell website. As a brand, this is exactly what you want — to be the source of truth about your own business everywhere customers are searching for information. But since search engine algorithms determine what information is pulled for rich results, this isn’t always the case. Featured snippet information is often pulled from off-website sources like Wikipedia — and sometimes, it can even be wrong.

Google has never issued a comprehensive guide to exactly how its featured snippets are sourced. But based on advice from SEO experts, here’s what you can do to improve your chances at appearing as a featured snippet when a customer asks a question related to your brand.

Answer customer questions on your website.

The first step for brands is to ensure that the information on their own website (and all subsidiary or local pages, if applicable) is correct and comprehensive. This seems like an obvious first step, given that you can’t answer a simple query about whether your business is “open now” if your hours are unlisted or incorrect. However, as search engines have become capable of answering more complex questions, consumers have been reconditioned to expect this level of specificity — and your brand doesn’t stand a chance if your website itself isn’t able to provide these types of answers.

Answer multidimensional customer questions on your website.

To use the Taco Bell example again, the query “does Taco Bell have gluten-free options” contains multiple pieces of information — it is asking about Taco Bell, but a particular entity (menu items) with a particular attribute (gluten-free). Google is able to pull this answer in a featured snippet because Taco Bell has structured its site so that these questions are answerable, and this information is interrelated and marked up in such a way that it is intelligible to Google.

Build your brand knowledge graph.

There is currently no markup specific to featured snippets. But using a structured data markup like Schema will put the content on your website into terms that search engines can understand. Having your pages marked up in this way increases the chances of them being crawled and “understood” by search engines — and helps you to surface in the kind of rich results we’re talking about.

This is also the reason that having a brand knowledge graph is invaluable when it comes to “speaking the language” of search engines. Since search engines use a knowledge graph with bi-directional, flexible relationships, your brand should structure and store its data in the same way. By doing so, search engine knowledge graphs can draw on the personal knowledge graph that you maintain — allowing you to manage your information at scale and deliver the answers customers want, both on your own site and via third-party experiences.

Be the authority on your brand.

If Wikipedia has the most comprehensive and clear information about your brand, then search engines will likely pull from that source. Of course, you should ensure that your brand information is listed correctly across all sites that Google’s algorithm might crawl (including Wikipedia) to ensure the most consistent experience possible. But if your website is clear, comprehensive, and able to answer complex questions — based on a knowledge graph where all of your facts and entities are stored — it appears more likely that the search engine algorithm will pull content from your website to populate its rich results.

 

Credit Via LAURYN CHAMBERLAIN with Yext

In this age of information, reputation marketing is the future of the marketing industry. Users no longer blindly use the services of a company – they simply open their browser and search for online reviews. It is evident that bad reviews can greatly damage the reputation of a company, even if they are not true. To avoid such situations, protect your online reputation the right way.

Reputation Marketing Defined

This concept refers to shaping your online reputation by emphasizing your positive reviews and turning them into a marketing tool. It is much more effective than reputation management, which is just a passive way of responding to already existing reviews, negative or positive, after they have already been posted online. Reputation marketing, on the other hand, suggests responding to bad reviews before they appear on online, as well as building and marketing positive reviews to the advantage of the company. According to Reputation marketing, on the other hand, suggests responding to bad reviews before they appear on online, as well as building and marketing positive reviews to the advantage of the company. According to Wikipedia, “reputation marketing has evolved from the marriage of the fields of reputation management and brand marketing.” Instead of trying to push negative reviews to the bottom of the search results, it suggests a new approach that consists of making the best of the positive feedback posted online by your customers.

Potential Benefits of An Excellent Online Reputation

Having positive reviews on social media or your own web site can significantly increase your profit because they work as an extremely good marketing tool. People tend to trust online reviews almost as much as their friends’ recommendations and you should not miss this great opportunity. For this reason, it is essential to increase the number of positive reviews so that they would appear at the top of the results when users search for your product or brand. This means taking matters into your own hands by reacting to your customers’ feedback immediately, thus creating an excellent online reputation of your company.

A Higher Star Rating Can Equate To Increased Business

You can find many real-life examples that support this. For example, the economists at the University of California, Berkeley conducted a study which analyses the online ratings of Yelp in Economic Journal. It reveals that a restaurant’s business increases by 19% when its overall rating increases by only a half star. It shows that even a slight change on the online profile of your business can greatly shape the user’s perception of your company.

In this situation, reputation marketing can have an immense effect on your profit. It is essential to try building a five-star reputation by making the best of your positive reviews, and we can help you take advantage of this opportunity.

Contact us today by emailing info@i3megamarketinggroup.com for a consultation.

 

 

If your business has local customers, the importance of having good local SEO for your website cannot be overemphasized. Simply put, local SEO experts can provide you the most important form of advertising you can use to reach new customers within your geographic area. Local SEO is also quite effective at getting repeat customers.

What Is Local Search?

seo

Local searches are search queries where the person is looking for information about local businesses in general. There are always specific geographic locations embedded in the search queries. Here are a few examples:

  • surf shops in Southern California
  • divorce attorney in Jacksonville FL
  • natural food stores in Boston
  • where to buy memory cards in Kansas City

All of these local search queries will generate a Google map in Google with a listing of several business options. If your business doesn’t make the list, for your specific type of business, in your geographic area(s), you are missing out on a lot of potential business. Furthermore, if you are located near the top of this list, and your listing is prominent, you’ll get a lot more business from the listing than another business lower on the list with a less prominent listing.

Why is local SEO important?

According To a Survey Conducted By Google:

  • Eighty percent of all people use a search engine to find information about a local business. This includes business hours, directions to the store, and product information. In other words, very few people use an old fashioned phone book anymore!
  • Fifty percent of all people who conduct local searches on their smartphone visit a local store related to their local search within one day!
  • Thirty-four percent of all people who conduct local searches on their laptop or other computer devices visit a local store within a day!
  • People who do local searches buy at a higher frequency than those who do not!
  • Eighteen percent of all local searches lead to a sale in less than 24 hours!

Thus, it stands to reason, if you can improve your ranking and quality of listing in local search on Google, your sales opportunities will increase. You will also get more targeted walk in traffic that you can use to generate more sales and or more sales leads.
Getting a good listing for your local search terms is a tricky endeavor that is best left to the professionals. Not only are there many nuances most business owners would never know, or even have time to learn if they knew how to find the information, Google updates its search algorithms so frequently it is a full-time job to keep up with them.

seo

We Can Help!

We are very careful to only use “white hat” techniques that Google not only sanctions but actually encourages. Other companies use techniques that may work for a short period of time (long enough to take your money) but are considered spam by Google. If you’re not careful who you work with, you can get your business URL banned. We are very careful what local SEO techniques we use for this reason.

Give us a call today so we can discuss the details! 214-702-9438

 

Voice search has recently become more important than ever before. The future of SEO strategies and search optimization in general highly depends on the Internet users’ ever-changing habits, and marketers are advised to take this into consideration.

Reasons for the Growth of Voice Search

There are a few causes for the enormous growth of the popularity of voice search starting from 2013. The main reason may be the usage of mobile phones, as voice recognition programs have become trendy even among older users.

It’s hands-free, fast and futuristic.

As technology improves with each update, the error rate of voice search plummets. Behshad Behzadi, noted during SWSW 2016 that the speech recognition error rate has been reduced from around 25 percent two years ago to just 8 percent today.

The goal for voice search in 2017 is to go above and beyond voice recognition and evolve into voice understanding. This involves several changes with respect to:
previous searches
location-based context
context based on frequently used apps
personalized information
keyword research based on spoken queries

#deathofthesearchbox 

voice search

Voice Search is no longer Just Mobile

However, smartphones are not the only devices suitable for voice recognition. Amazon has released Amazon Echo, a hands-free speaker controlled with voice. It can hear the commands even when loud music is playing. At the same time, Google made its own voice-activated speaker, Google Home. Devices like these allow users not only to play music by uttering simple phrases but also to search for information without the need to type, giving answers immediately.

Voice Search Results are Dissimilar to Typed Searches

voice search

It is evident that search queries are different when people say them aloud rather than when they type them. More conversational language is used, replacing accurate keywords with longer, naturally-flowing questions. A user will more likely say “Where is the nearest Chinese restaurant?” rather than “Chinese restaurants London”. This means that your content should be written in a more natural manner and, instead of an abundance of keywords, there should be questions that would resemble the user’s speech (starting with “where”, “what”, “when”, etc.). Try to implement this into your blogs, posts and other written media.

 

Now is the best time to start implementing the strategies that voice search experts suggest using.  As voice search is increasing in popularity, it is essential to optimize your website for it if you want to be a strong competitor in the business market.

There’s no denying that voice search is a one of the biggest trends of the digital age. With massive improvements to Siri, Google Now and Cortana, SEO marketers would be wise to closely examine voice innovation and think beyond text-based queries in 2017.