Google My Business Benefits for SMB in 2021

Make sure you register your SMB (Small Business) website with Google My Business. Search Engines like Google are the new yellow pages.

Registering your site with Google My Business (GMB) should be #1 priority (particularly if you’re starting a brand new business). Doing so can give your business a quick win by helping it appear in relevant geographic search results — within just a couple of weeks. Industry stats show that people who see your “Google My Business” listing will click through to your website, and will call your business directly. Google My Business listing can also drive local SEO success for small businesses, pretty much guaranteeing visibility on Google Maps and Google Search. Make it easier to reach product or service escape velocity with the power of Google search and Google My Business.

Your GMB listing gives potential clients easy access to your hours of operation, phone number, website and directions with a click of a button—all at no cost to you. As zero-click searches become more and more prevalent, having a means to represent your business in search engine results pages (SERPs) is essential. Without a Google My Business listing, you could miss out on converting customers at the earliest stage!

What do Search Engines like?

Trust. Search engines like Google, Bing, etc., are looking for signals that signify trust. Search engines want to give searchers the best possible result. That’s why you need to work on your trustworthiness on all levels, both technical as well as in content.

Use up-to-date software, have your SSL in order, make strong passwords, use tools such as Cloudflare to protect your site from DDoS attacks. An SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) is a set of data files that you can add to your server to achieve this encrypted connection between a browser and your server. Besides securing your website by way of encryption, it also helps with SEO (Google Rankings). Google has confirmed that HTTPS is a ranking signal. An unsecured website risks users’ online safety and could be hurting your SEO efforts. Google confirmed way back in 2014 that HTTPS is now a ranking signal. So, if your site doesn’t have SSL certificates and is on HTTPS, then now would a good time to update.

A SSL certificate increases customers trust and confidence in your website. Customer confidence is essential to increasing conversion rates.

Google PageSpeed Insights – Can you Score a Perfect 100?

Website performance is user experience – the power of page speed, translating into attractive online shopping experience inspires sales figures and eventually determines online business success. Can you score a perfect 100 on Google PageSPeed Insights tool?

Webpage admins can use this tool to learn on how google determines their website loading speeds. How to score a perfect 100. How to score a perfect 100…

  1. Rapid webpage loading time
  2. High levels of optimizations
  3. Low instances viewers of leaving a website before it finished loading

Other recommendations help such as reducing website images size (optimize images!) and know which image file format which is more appropriate for its purpose. Use GIF files for small images, use JPG files for images requiring multiple colors, use PNG files for images that require transparency. Request and caching boost loading speed helps as well (WordPress plugin such as W3 Total Cache to easily enable caching). Enabling caching can shave off a significant amount of time of returning visitors and provide a better user experience. The way you set up caching depends on whether you run your site with WordPress or static HTML. Also, add AMP (accelerated mobile pages) protocols to your website. Google prioritizes AMP optimized mobile websites.

Its not always possible to score 100%. Focus on lightweight quick loading web pages will increase chances of your website page appearing on the 1st page of search results. While you should certainly strive to improve your website’s loading times as much as possible, getting a 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights isn’t actually that important. For starters, it’s not even the be-all-end-all test for performance. Unlike PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom Tools enables you to test your site’s performance from various locations. The real purpose of testing your site’s performance with Google PageSpeed Insights isn’t to achieve a high score. Instead, it’s to find problem spots on your site, so that you can optimize them and decrease both your actual and perceived loading times.

Website speed is crucial. There is nothing so frustrating as waiting for a website to load. Ideally, websites should load within three seconds, or two seconds if it’s an eCommerce site. The two-to-three second mark is the turning point where bounce rates skyrocket. Some 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site.

Website Page Speed Matters!

Guess what?! One in four visitors leave a site if it takes longer than four seconds to load. That’s four seconds!!!!

Website speed is crucial. There is nothing so frustrating as waiting for a website to load. Ideally, websites should load within three seconds, or two seconds if it’s an eCommerce site. The two-to-three second mark is the turning point where bounce rates skyrocket. Some 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site.

Search engines, particularly Google and Bing, place heavy importance on site speed when determining which websites to show at the top of the search engine results page. Website speed testing tools are a great resource as well as recommending suggestions on how to improve your score. A couple of good quality speed tools are – Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom. Try them out! Remember, a SLOW website (pages) hurt SEO. A FAST website pages(s) can help in search rankings as well as keep visitors engaged and have a positive experience!

Can Your Product or Service Reach Escape Velocity in 2021?

Category power, Company power, Unmatchable offerings. Google comes to mind. Google Search and Google My Business that is. Make sure you register your website with Google Search Console and Google My Business. Submit your website sitemap thru Google Search Console for indexing! No matter whether you’re using Shopify, WordPress, Wix or Squarespace, adding your website to this service is the starting point for good SEO and will ultimately help sell your products or service through increasing traffic.

Registering your site with Google My Business should be #1 priority (particularly if you’re starting a brand new business). Doing so can give your business a quick win by helping it appear in relevant geographic search results — within just a couple of weeks. Industry stats show that people who see your “Google My Business” listing will click through to your website, and will call your business directly. Google My Business listing can also drive local SEO success for small businesses, pretty much guaranteeing visibility on Google Maps and Google Search. Make it easier to reach product or service escape velocity with the power of Google search and Google My Business.

Google Search Console adds Page Experience Report

Looks like the Google Search Console “Page Experience” report is going to be pushed out and delayed until mid-June and the end of August.

So what’s the Page Experience Report In Search Console? The new report combines the existing Core Web Vitals report with other “components of the page experience signals,” Google said. So this report also tells you if your pages are over HTTPS, are they mobile friendliness, do they not have intrusive interstitial, and the current status of safe browsing on those pages.

the Page Experience update will see Google’s Core Web Vitals become more influential elements in search ranking. The 3 vitals include:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – This element measures loading performance and how fast the key visual elements of your pages become available for the user after clicking through.
  • First Input Delay (FID) – Similar to LCP, FID measures how long it takes for your page to become interactive, so users can click and search.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – This element measures visual stability.

The Search Performance report is also getting the ability to filter pages with good page experience to let site owners keep track of how those pages compare to other pages on the same site. This is a good thing and will help in configuring and tweaking your website funnel!

 

A/B Website Testing in 2021

You have two versions of a website landing page (A & B) and you want to test each one to determine which is the best and produce the most conversions. A/B testing (also known as split testing) can also tests different elements like logos, colors, call to actions (buy now!), placement, headline, layout of website, images, amount of text on pages, etc.

Think of A/B testing (or split testing) as a methodology that enables marketers to compare a variety of test samples against a baseline control sample (the existing element) to identify and measure which element is most effective in achieving desired outcomes. A/B testing begins with a core baseline (A) and a variation (B) or alternative version. A & B are tested simultaneously to measure which version is more successful.

After you decided what to test, grab a good tool for the project. Google Analytics has a A/B testing feature called Content Experiments (Google Optimize). You can access Content Experiments (Optimize) by logging into your Google Analytics account, opening the profile you want to run an experiment in and click the Standard Reporting tab. In the left menu click Content, then Experiments, then start experimenting.

Other great A/B testing tools include Optimizely, VWO, and Convert Experiences.

Tips: When doing website A/B testing, never ever wait to test the variation until after you’ve tested the control. Always test both versions simultaneously. Don’t let your gut feeling overrule test results. The winners in A/B tests are often surprising or unintuitive. Know how long to run a test before giving up. Giving up too early can cost you because you may have gotten meaningful results had you waited a little longer. Make your A/B test consistent across the whole website. If you are testing a sign-up button that appears in multiple locations, then a visitor should see the same variation everywhere. Do many A/B tests! An A/B test can have only three outcomes: no result, a negative result or a positive result. The key to optimizing conversion rates is to do a ton of A/B tests, so that all positive results add up to a huge boost in traffic and conversions.

Both A/B are extremely valuable for your business. A/B Testing makes one thing crystal clear to marketers – you don’t know what works with your end-user until you test.

Social Media Outreach in 2021

From a product or services firm perspective: Pick two or three social media platforms and concentrate on mastering those (if resources allow). If resources are limited, concentrate on Facebook and Twitter first. Determine which serves your brand or service better. Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around that will amplify your brand. Choose the most popular platform based on your company’s product or client demographics. For example, Financial Advisors would choose Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter over Instagram. Actual product marketers that need more “visual” branding would gravitate towards Instagram or Pinterest.

First things first. Establish Trust. People naturally look to other people as a guide for their own behavior. Don’t get spammy with your posts or tweets. Post social media content that is quality and  compelling (always include an image). Encourage free exchange. Be open to change and continuous learning. Social proof (trust) typically rises exponentially, and it will become a self-perpetuating force.

Remember to establish reasonable goals once you start gaining momentum. Listen to your customers or fans (followers). Always gain feedback and adjust accordingly (iterate). Figure out what to measure when putting together goals. Example: do you measure “followers” or “likes” “retweets” or “retention” or “sales”?

Your goals should be distinct, in that you have a specific, defensible reason for participating in each platform. Take a look at your outreach strategy and review the reasons your business is implementing a social media marketing outreach plan. What do you want out of your social activities? Are you trying to drive visitors to your website, your blog, via Twitter or your Facebook page? Are your competitors on social media? Focusing on your ultimate goal will guide your next steps: what you do (what other channels you will use going forward), when you do it (what schedule you will aim for? Night or Daytime according to your demographic), and what content to share. Be vigilant and always participate every day (even if you have to schedule and automate it). Social Media marketing is a slow process that will pay off dividends in the future!

Landing Page Optimization Tip: White Space Improves User Experience

Make sure there is white space in your landing page (optimization). This improves the user experience and makes your call to action stand out. White space (negative space) is any portion of a page that is left unmarked — the empty space on a page. In design terms, white space can be defined as the space between text, margins, columns, graphics, and any other page elements. White space increases readability, Improves focus, and again…enhances user experience.

Your call to action button (link) should be 20% larger than your logo (depending on the size of your logo). Place button at top of page (left). Web readers tend to track through content in a rough “F-shaped” pattern. So format important images flush left. Display the secondary action below the primary action. Make it obvious which button to click to complete an action. By using white space in your copy, you’re able to de-clutter the text, allowing the visitor to have a more enjoyable reading experience. Finding the right balance of your white space is key to converting website visitors into paying customers or new clients.

 

Financial Advisors: Optimizing Your Website for Mobile in 2021

First thing to do is ask whether mobile visitors are interacting with your website differently than desktop users? It’s important for your website to work well on mobile devices, so if you haven’t yet invested in making your website mobile-friendly, it’s time to do so

Mobile optimized websites tend up higher in search results. With the rise if modern more powerful smartphones and tablets, mobile searches make up more than half of searches on Google.com.

  • Go into Google Analytics and segment out the mobile traffic. The mobile segment might include Tablet traffic so be aware of that figure. Once you have the data, focus on landing pages, conversion rate, and where people leave the conversion funnel. Optimize accordingly.

Responsive web design has made it possible to create sites that work across all platforms on an even play level. Mobile optimization has begun to gain credence as a potentially preferable strategy now in 2021. Instead of simply compressing and slightly rearranging the content on the screen, you design the entire experience for smaller screens. A good basic mobile optimized website should include the following:

  • Keep layouts simple and invest in responsive theme templates.
  • Use large, mobile-friendly calls-to-action and links.
  • Use large, easy-to-read text.
  • Keep forms as short as possible.
  • Clearly display your CTAs. Your CTA needs to focus on that primary goal.
  • Avoid large blocks of text and choose the right font.
  • Use large, clear images or buttons and reduce file sizes. Buttons need to be large enough to be tapped with a finger. Make sure you keep enough space between buttons so someone doesn’t accidentally click the wrong one.
  • Simplify your menus including the Search function.

Finally, prioritize speed. The best way to keep your page speed loading time as low as possible is by simplifying your design.

Tip: Its always a good idea to add a mobile XML sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing. Although, if the website is responsive, it’s not necessary to have the separate XML sitemaps for Mobile. I don’t think it’s not required as per Google’s guideline. When there are pages of similar content on desktop and mobile, they need to be interlinked by canonical tags so that google knows what is the alternative page for that, and automatically crawl and give equal importance to the other page which is still not there on the sitemap.