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    A Good User Experience drives traffic to your Website

    The success of a website is measured by the number of its visitors and their conversion rate. What can you do to bring more traffic to your website? Well, the answer is quite simple; provide your users a great experience!

    website UX design

    UX Design means a website design built to enhance user satisfaction. 

    People nowadays have very short attention spans. Similarly, Google will not index websites that are:

    • Too long to load
    • confusing in their navigation
    • have low quality graphics, and
    • contain boring and irrelevant content

    So, how do we improve UX on our websites.!?

    • A good First Impression
      Users explore a website further only when the landing page is quick, readable, and attractive.
    • Mobile First Optimisation
      The better your website looks, feels, and performs across different screen sizes, the more traffic it generates.
      Googles 'mobile first' ranking algorithm, along with your prospective customers, favours a website that is optimised for mobile devices.
      Google Analytics data we gather from our client websites shows that at least 80% of web traffic originates from mobile devices.
    • Content is King
      Yes, an old adage that I have used many times!.... BUT nothing is more important than good content. Whether it be text, or preferably, text and 'info-graphics'; if it is informative and interesting it will see users return to your site again and again.
      Additionally, the more relevant the content the higher your website will rank on search engines.
    • Logical Navigation
      We have seen so many badly designed navigation systems over the years. Keeping your content managed within a simple and logical menu system is critical.
      Content 'hooks' on your home page, and internal links within your content, add another dimension convenience and logic to your UX design.

    Web Design Domain's Care & Maintenance Packages are designed to coach clients in all aspects of these, and future, aspects of UX and SEO Campaigns.

    How to improve your Search Engine RANKING in 2022

    SEO is a constantly evolving practice for your website's digital marketing.... So what can be done to improve your ranging in 2022?

    Here are a number of factors we need to consider to make your SEO campaign more successful and get the best outcomes? There is a lot of 'technical stuff' to examine here and I hope to boil it down to some simple actions that you can take for a stronger on-line presence.

    Google's RankBrain Artificial Intelligence Algorithm

    google rankbrain

    Basically, this A.I. algorithm is focused more on the 'User Experience' provided by search results.  It looks at which sites are ranked in a search result, which sites are chosen, clicked on, by the user, how long the user stays on the chosen website, How many 'click-throughs' the user does on your site, and whether the user goes back to the search results and clicks on other alternative websites.  All these data are converted into usable information on how well you (your website) has enhanced the User Experience

    How can we optimise for BrainRank?

    1. Gain greater coverage by using phrases like 'How to...', 'Easy way to...' , 'Simple way to.....'  in your content titles.
    2. Use embedded Audio/Video links within your articles so that users stay on your site longer.
    3. Add more internal clickable links to additional content within your site.
    4. Monitor the above metrics to continually improve your website User Experience. 

    Voice Search will continue to predominate

    web design voice search optimisation

    The predominance of 'voice assistants' like Google Assistant, Siri by Apple, and Alexa by Amazon are becoming increasingly common as search media.  

    The use of 'Long-tail keywords' ,within your website content, that mimic these longer search phrases can greatly improve your search engine ranking..... So be mindful when writing articles for your site to add relevant phrases.

     Mobile Friendliness as a Ranking Metric

    Google is very good at analyzing your website in its mobile form.  The 'Mobile-First' algorithm was rolled out by Google in 2019 and continues to be a significant factor in website ranking.  Google is also very helpful, through it's Search Console in letting you know how to improve the layout of your website to improve the User Experience on mobile devices through its 'Mobile Usability Reports'.

    This means that search results for mobile users should lead to content that is usable in the following ways:

    • A defined viewing area (or viewport) that adjusts to the device’s screen size.
    • Content that flows in the viewport, so that users don’t have to scroll horizontally or pinch the screen in order to see the entire page.
    • Fonts that scale for easier reading on small screens.
    • Easy-to-touch elements (e.g., buttons) that are well-spaced from other touch elements.
    • Visual design and motion driven by mobile-friendly technology."

    Google’s EAT Principle

    The EAT principle of Google refers to Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

    Coming up with good quality, originalcontent that your users want is all important for obvious reasons.  You want users to be 'held' on and return to your site because you are offering all the EAT Principle dictates.

    Relevant, engaging and original content is mandatory in any long term SEO campaign.

    So, back to the original question -  How to improve your Search Engine Ranking in 2022.?

    Well, as stated earlier we can:

    • Gain greater coverage by using phrases like 'How to...', 'Easy way to...' , 'Simple way to.....'  in your content titles.
    • Use embedded Audio/Video links within your articles so that users stay on your site longer.
    • Add more internal clickable links to 'more 'content  within your site.
    • Monitor the above metrics, through Google Analytics, to continually improve your website User Experience. 

    Additionally we can:

    • Add 'long-tail' keywords to our site content.
    • Maintain a Mobile friendly site layout.
    • Ensure that your content is original, informative, and engaging.

    Web Design Domain's Care & Maintenance Packages are designed to coach clients in all aspects of these, and future, aspects of SEO Campaigns.  

    Voice Search - More Convenient & Always Accessible

    Voice searches started life as novel, short keyword queries.  Today long key-phrase searches are growing exponentially, and are now the hottest topic in search optimisation.

    The ease and convenience to search with voice is second to none, and people cannot get enough of it.

    The concept of voice search started with smartphones then quickly escalated to smart speakers and voice assistants worldwide. Today we are experiencing a voice search revolution with almost every generation welcoming voice search with open arms.

    Voice Search Keywords are Longer and Conversational
    When we converse with a smart device and ask questions, we generally ask the whole question instead of just using a couple of keywords. When it comes to keywords, we distinguish between short-tail and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords usually are between one to two words and have a high cost and a lot of search engine competition. For instance, the short-tail keyword “shoes” is more generic and consequently more difficult to target.web design voice search optimisation

    On the other hand, long-tail keywords are more descriptive and have a higher conversion rate. Targeting them will help you create a more efficient marketing strategy that will benefit from voice search optimization.

    For example, the long-tail keyword “black men’s road running shoes” will narrow down search engine results.

    Apart from targeting keywords, you can also improve your ranking with Semantic SEO, a tactic that focuses on optimizing your content around a particular topic.

    Google has announced a "broad core algorithm update". 

    web design search engine ranking

    What this means is that Google has made significant core changes to its ranking system and are designed to produce widely noticeable effects across search results in all countries in all languages.

    Specifically, the changes target what is known as 'thin content'. Thin content basically refers to content that’s short, of poor quality, and lacks 'subject' relevancy. Pages containing thin content will be down ranked on Google searches.

    The 'up-side' to this announcement is that 'long content', on the other hand, can significantly improve your SE ranking. If you want to outrank your on-line competitors, you must create content of the highest quality and of significant 'length'. This does not mean that all web pages contain '3000 word masterpieces' as some pages should be consise and contain 'hooks' to further reading.

    In strategic areas, however, some pages must deliver more value than other websites competing for a rank #1 for the same keyword. This is where long content can deliver a significant ranking advantage.

    So what can you do now to satisfy the 'Google God' ??  Two simple tasks:

    1. Update your old content. Outdated links, stats, thin content that doesn’t cover a topic extensively – all these should be nixed and replaced with content that meets user needs and Google’s standards (luckily, they are one and the same thing!)
    2. Keep publishing content regularly. Invest in long-form content that’s well-written and well-researched.

    If you would like further information and help creating long content for your website please Contact Us.

    Last month we discussed strategies to leverage the latest technologies for effective & efficient on-line Business.  A significant contributor involved the importance of social media channels and the statistical analysis allowing us to make well-informed decisions in ways to communicate with our audience.

    facebook stats

    This month I would like to share some statistical facts about the significance of Facebook.  "Facebook continues to hold tight as one of the most popular social media platforms. With nearly 2.45 billion monthly active users, it still remains one of the most used social media platforms." ... SitePro News 6-March, 2020.

    Some relevant facts:

    • The number of active monthly users of Facebook has crossed 2.45 billion.
    • Facebook is the world’s third most visited site after Youtube and Google.
    • Facebook is the fifth most downloaded app in the app store, and Facebook messenger is fourth.
    • More users within the age group of 65 years and above are joining Facebook.
    • Fewer people belonging to Generation X are now using Facebook.
    • 90 million small businesses have a Facebook page.
    • 81% of businesses use Facebook video to market their products.
    • Facebook witnesses the highest traffic from midday Wednesday and Thursday

    Today, a majority of people are using Facebook, and your competitors are using it too. Therefore, to maintain a competitive edge, make sure that your Facebook strategy is up to date.

    Many of our clients are actively using Facebook, as a key marketing tool, to significantly increase traffic to their websites.

    Please do not hesitate to contact Web Design Domain - web services if you have any questions.

    Thanks to SitePro News for their significant contribution to this article.

    plan summary chart 02I have put together a short instruction detailing how to leverage the latest technologies for effective & efficient on-line Business. 

    The instruction is also available as a downloadable 'pdf doc. 

    instagram web design domain news

    Instagram statistics are impressive.  It's business potential has been recognised and is growing.

    Instagram now has:

    • 1 Billion+ Instagram accounts worldwide are active every single month.
    • 500 million+ Instagram accounts worldwide are active every day.
    • 400 Million+ accounts use Instagram Stories every day.

    Within these figures, 80 per cent of accounts follow a business on Instagram.

    So, the message is clear — if you want your business to grow, you need to get on Instagram. It can be a great platform to showcase your products or services and build a loyal audience base. Instagram can really boost your brand awareness and visibility.

    Let’s take a look at a five ways that have helped some of the biggest brands grow their Instagram engagement. from SitePro News -27-Aug-2018

    1. Post Creative and Good Quality Content
      Good quality content is the key to increasing your Instagram engagement. If your content resonates with your target audience, they will automatically respond to it. Good content makes your business more memorable too. So you can expect likes and comments to follow.

      Instagram is a medium that places a special emphasis on great visuals. You need to make sure you are posting images with vivid colors and thoughtful, engaging composition.

      To make your photos stand out, editing is also crucial. If you aren’t skilled in editing or you don’t want to spend the time editing photos yourself, you can get professional help from apps like Mendr. They have certified pros available 24/7 who will edit your photos for you in a matter of minutes. Just upload your photos to the app and request the edits you want. Your edited photo is delivered back to you quickly.

      Instagram Stories are also a great way to capture your audience’s attention. Social media users have very short attention spans. So you need to make sure that you have an interesting hook in the first few seconds. Try to get as much action or movement in the beginning. This way you can get the audience interested so that they don’t just scroll to the next post.

      A part of creating quality content also involves the art of storytelling. Good content alone never sells anything. Your audience shouldn’t feel like they are seeing promotional content when they looking at your posts. Instead, try to connect with them through compelling stories.

    2. Post at the Right Times
      To increase your Instagram visibility, you need to post content consistently. To maximize your reach, you should post your content at the right times. You should analyze when your target audience is more likely to be active on Instagram. If you post during that time interval, you will have a better chance of getting more engagement.

      Sprout Social conducted a study to find out the best times to post on social media channels. They found out that Thursday was the best day to post on Instagram, while Sunday was the worst. Their results are based on how people responded to posts of other brands.

      Your brand may or may not follow the general trend. If you want to know the best times to post for your brand, you can use the Preview app. It will tell you your best time and day to post and interact with your audience.

      This information can be really helpful if you are planning to conduct a big product launch or make any other special announcement. The right timing can help you reach out to a bigger audience and get better engagement.

    3. Use Relevant Hashtags
      Hashtags are a great way to reach out to an audience who may not be following your account. If you are using the right hashtags, you will find an audience that is interested in your posts.

      For example, if you are posting related to Wimbledon, you should definitely use #Wimbledon in your posts. Along with it, use variations of the main term too. #Wimbledon2018, #WimbledonChampionship and #Wimbledonmatch are some of the related hashtags that you can use.

      However, generic terms should always be avoided. Terms like #tennis and #lawntennis are also related, but they are too broad. So they won’t really attract users who are specifically searching for posts related to Wimbledon.

      You should also check the search volume for each hashtag before using it. For trending events, the hashtag search volume is likely to reach the millions. But for other general posts, try to avoid generic hashtags with massive search volumes. Your post can easily get lost in the sea of posts that have used the same hashtags.

      Instagram allows users to use as many as 30 hashtags per post. However, a survey by Sprout Social found that posts with nine hashtags get the most engagement.

      You should keep a constant tab on your posts to see which hashtags are working well for you. Use them as often as you can in other posts.

    4. Host Contests
      Hosting a contest on your Instagram account is an easy way to get more people to notice you. If you are giving away freebies or discounts, more people will be motivated to engage with you. To get your contest noticed, you should follow these tips:

    5. Create a branded hashtag for your contest.

      - Encourage users to like, comment, and tag their friends on your posts to enter the contest.
      - Encourage users to use your brand’s hashtag on their personal posts.
      - Give away your product as the prize.
      - Give discount codes to winners for future purchases.
      Earthpix, an Instagram handle that focuses on travel, uses this strategy at regular intervals to grow their Instagram engagement. They partnered with other handles and asked users to follow them.

      They also encouraged users to like and tag their friends in the post. This way they helped their partners get more followers while also increasing engagement on their own handle. Their post got more than 70,000 likes and 29,000 comments.

    Getting your product and services noticed on Instagram is vital to grow a loyal audience for your brand on social media. It can help your brand gain more visibility and brand awareness over time.

    Getting Instagram engagement can be a time-consuming process, but with the right strategies you can achieve remarkable results.

    Google found it necessary to start addressing many factors that were found to affect the quality of search engine results negatively. 

    Most were content related so now is a good time to review the content of your website in terms of these fctors.

    Such factors include:

    • Keyword stuffing – putting too many keywords in the content to purposefully manipulate search engine rankings
    • Insufficient and irrelevant content – articles that are too short to be useful or have nothing to do with the keywords on the page
    • Broken links
    • Duplicate and plagiarised content
    • Deceptive content – any content designed to trick users into doing something – click an ad, provide sensitive information, download malware and the like
    • Content farms – websites that produce enormous amounts of content to manipulate search engine rankings
    • Broad content – web pages that cover too many subjects that are not relevant to one another
    • Artificially generated and low-quality content
    • Content with poor grammar and spelling errors that hinder comprehension
    • Content that is not optimized for SEO – no strong titles, h1s, focus keywords, links to reputable sources and so on

    Google is 'intelligent' enough to be able to detect these factors and rank your site accordingly.

    There is, however, another significant point that we need to realize about Google ranking algorithms.....that is that it has more to do with users than the technicalities of optimizing a website for search engines.

    Consider the following:

    • Make sure that you are not producing any content that might violate Google’s content guidelines. This includes thin, duplicate and irrelevant content as well as auto-generated text.
    • Know that while Google algorithms may not be robust enough to scrutinize the quality of every piece of content that is out there, Google can take a cue from website visitors through what they call “user signals”. If Google finds that your website has a high bounce rate and that users hardly spend any time on it before clicking away, then this gives them a reason to believe that your content is not useful and might penalize you for that.
    • Google can also take cues from factors on your website that are known to result in poor user experience. Such factors include slow site speed, poor navigation, 404 errors, excessive ads/ links, keyword stuffing, hidden text/cloaking and the like.
    • Integrity – of course, there is no way for Google to measure the trustworthiness of your website, the search engine can, again, take cues from individual elements that reputable sites all have in common – HTTPS encryption, contact information, privacy policy, terms and conditions and minimal ads on the website.

    Web Design Domain- web services actively applies these, and many other factors to help your website rank better and to drive more traffic to your website.

    There are a number of issues here that you can review and act on yourself.  If you need further clarification or help with these issues please contact us.  

    Thanks to SitePro News for a significant contribution to this article.

    joomla logoJoomla 3.5 and PHP 7 are now both considered stable and have many benefits over older versions.

    The biggest benefit must be speed, a lot of web developers report that the combination of Joomla 3.5 and PHP 7 improves speed, the website and administrator loading times are improved significantly so if your website (for J3.5.1) and your hosting server (for PHP 7) have not been upgraded you are really missing out on a real improvement in customer satisfaction.

    A great newsletter should be read by everyone, right?
    That's why it's important to share your good work on social networks, and give your users the opportunity to relay your information on the internet.

    Three easy tips to implement on your next newsletter:-

    • Add a "forward to a friend" link on your newsletters.
    • Add links like : "share on Facebook", "share on Twitter" ...etc
    • Create a "Newsletter" tab on your Facebook page, and allow your fans to subscribe to your newsletters directly from your FB page.

    This is not only a way to increase your visibility and your SEO but also a good opportunity to get to know your readers, interact with them and increase their number.

    acymailingWeb Design Domain uses the Acyba AcyMailing mailing engine as part of our Online Marketing plans.

    Google has done it again! They will now promote or penalise you based upon the mobile "friendliness" of your website!

    The following is a quote from the Google Support website:

    "Google Search aims to deliver the most relevant—and useful—information to people seeking answers. For that reason, we want to ensure a meaningful “after-click” experience that helps people use information relevant to their task.

    Because global web traffic from mobile devices is on the rise, and recent studies show that mobile visitors are more likely to revisit mobile-friendly sites, mobile usability is now relevant for optimal search results. This means that search results for mobile users should lead to content that is usable in the following ways:

    • A defined viewing area (or viewport) that adjusts to the device’s screen size.
    • Content that flows in the viewport, so that users don’t have to scroll horizontally or pinch the screen in order to see the entire page.
    • Fonts that scale for easier reading on small screens.
    • Easy-to-touch elements (e.g., buttons) that are well-spaced from other touch elements.
    • Visual design and motion driven by mobile-friendly technology."

    There are a number of analysis tools provided to Google Webmasters aimed at 'fine tuning' websites to comply with MSEO (Mobile Search Engine Optimisation).

    Web Design Domain designs are scoring well with MSEO, although there are some minor improvements being made to some older designs to bring them up to speed.

    The Google Mobile useability algorithms are, typically, evolving as google crawlers have only been showing webmaster data from Dec-2014.  From the testing we have done  Google is giving a 'not mobile friendly' score for a website with a single 'non complient page.!! 

    As we gather more data on crawler mobile errors, I will be informing clients on site specific issues and developing an on-going srtategy to ensure that we can maintain a good MSEO ranking for our clients.

    Go Back


    Google has announced that the latest version of its Panda Update, a filter designed to further 'down rank' poor content websites,  has been released.

    Google has been quoted as stating:
    "Based on user (and webmaster!) feedback, we've been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher, which is nice."

    If you have noticed a traffic drop from Google this lately, then this latest Panda Update is likely to blame.

    Web Design Domain will actively monitor any significant decrease in your web traffic.  The best stratrgy to avoid being caught up in this is to keep your content fresh, informative and relevent to your industry/group.

    If you would like some help or further information on this subject please contact us.

    Go Back

    microdata web design domainSome time ago search giants, Google, Bing and Yahoo, collaborated to support the use of microdata tagging to generate more relevant and more detailed search results.

    Microdata offers another opportunity to improve on search engine optimisation (SEO) by making a few changes to your websites.
    The specific advantages are:

    • Firstly, microdata can give the search-engine spiders more context for the type of information on a website and the way the site should be indexed and ranked.
    • Secondly, microdata allows for the creation of "rich snippets," which display more information on the search result pages than traditional listings.

    What is microdata?

    A 'wiki' definition reads like this:

    "Microdata is a WHATWG HTML specification used to nest metadata within existing content on web pages.   Search engines, web crawlers, and browsers can extract and process Microdata from a web page and use it to provide a richer browsing experience for users. Search engines benefit greatly from direct access to this structured data because it allows search engines to understand the information on web pages and provide more relevant results to users.  Microdata uses a supporting vocabulary to describe an item and name-value pairs to assign values to its properties."

    There is no need to get caught up in the technical definitions and implementation of microdata. Over the next few months Web Design Domain - web services will be upgrading the client website editor component and including a microdata tool button. This tool will allow clients to easily add microdata tags, from 'schema.org', so that web crawers can pick up richer content from your site and improve SEO ranking.

     Go Back

    As I have stated in last months newsletter, Google has been making lots of changes, and Google Maps are no exception!  They are paying less attention to what you tell them about your business and more attention to what others are saying.

    So how can your Google Local Business Listing rank higher on Google Maps?  The following summary is based on an article by Alternate Image.

    • Verify your listing and make sure that your information is correct and is NOT DUPLICATED on other listings.
    • Increase your citations and inbound links from major data providers. Google will rate you favourable if you are associated with authoritative sources.
    • Add user reviews. User reviews are now a necessity. Add a link on your website to your Google+ listing.  This will make it easy for your customers to write a review. DO NOT write a fake review. A higher volume of good reviews will help you rank higher on Google Maps.
    • Add proper category associations. Make sure that you have used all 5 of the categories that Google offers. These categories are ranked so ensure that the categories you choose are relevent.  Starting at the most relevant to your business.
    • Put your full business address on contact page. Make sure your contact page information is up to date and correct.
    • Increase your quality of inbound links. Having reciprocal links from/to other high ranking websites will increase Google's "trust" in your listing.
    • Have location keywords in anchor text for inbound links. Make sure that all those high quality inbound links include actual keywords that are location specific. Instead of it saying "click here" to visit website, have it say "Visit Mossgrove Bed & Breakfast".
    • Include keywords in your listing description. Your Google Maps description has to be short (they impose a character limit) but needs to include your keywords. Instead of writing "We are close to the national parkl..." say something like "Mossgrove Bed & Breakfast is close to World Heritage National Parks....".

    ...end of summary.

     Some of you may now be asking 'how do I edit my Google+ listing'..........................

    All you have to do is go to Google Business, sign in and edit your listing.

    The following links will also help with reviews and sharing your listing.

    If you would like more information on the subject please contact Web Design Domain - web services.


    Thanks for your continued support

    John Eastment

    Go Back


    At last, some news filtering through about Google's latest algorithm update.  Some good news for those who are genuinly and consistantly updating their websites with relevant content.

    How to Avoid the Wrath of Panda

    Looking to avoid significant dings in your rankings? Here are the key points that Panda targets; make sure you are not guilty of any of the following, and you can steer clear of any penalties.

    • Never copy, steal, or scrape content from another site and claim it as your own.
    • Resist the urge to predominantly keyword-stuff your site's content. Keyword stuffing is no longer a boon for a site's rankings, thanks to Panda's prowl, so cease and desist this archaic and damaging practice.
    • Ensure all your content is readable to humans, not search engine bots.
    • Create the highest quality, original content possible.
    • Every time you publish a new piece of content, ask yourself the following: "Would I publish this in a major news outlet and feel proud to put my name as the author?" If your answer is ever a no, don't publish it to your site.
    • Publish content on a regular basis; sites with nothing but outdated and irrelevant posts are potential penalty targets.
    • Make sure all backlinks are high-quality; never accept links from questionable sources. If you have offending sites as link partners, your site is also implicated.
    • Double check that your site is technically sound, built with SEO in mind. Sites with security risks and obvious viruses are also affected.

    EbaylogoThe recent hack of eBay by hackers unknown has sent a shockwave through the Web.

    Sadly a lot people use the same password for multiple sites so the hacking of eBay opens up to fraudsters a goldmine of opportunity if they can decrypt what they have stolen from eBay. As such, expect to have many requests to change your password going forwards.

    First eBay got hacked, then it took an age to place a notice about that on its front page. Perhaps the ineffectiveness of that delayed tactic explains why it is now pursuing yet another tactic: forcing any users who have not changed their password to do so.

    Don't put it off. Change your EBay credentials NOW.

    Go Back


    google-pandaGoogle's Panda 4.0 Launch and How It Affects SEO

    By Julia Spence-McCoy in Featured SE Optimization - extract from SiteProNews

    It's official! According to Search Engine Land, Google has rolled out a new and improved update to the Panda algorithm: Panda version 4.0. After a week of hushed tones and speculation amongst SEOs, Google's Matt Cutts announced the release on Twitter.
    The launch of Panda 4.0 marks breaking news in the industry, and it isn't breaking alone; the Panda update is accompanied by Payday Loan 2.0 and a shocking change for eBay. What changes have been implemented and what do they mean for you? Let's take a look at what we know thus far...

    What Does It All Mean For You?
    It's too soon to tell. Currently, there is a great deal of speculation surrounding these updates and their overall impact. If you've been around for previous algorithm releases or updates, then you know it's time to batten down your hatches, weather the release storm and assess the damage as it appears. Search Engine Watch is even venturing the prediction that we are likely to see a Google Penguin update in the near future as Penguin 2.0 launched one year ago this week. Seeing how Google has released the Panda 4.0 and Payday Loans updates so close together, this speculation does not strike us as farfetched.
    The good news is that for those who have focused on high quality, well written content while keeping their audience firmly in focus, not much appears to have changed. And with Google focusing so heavily on quality content as a rank increaser, it doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon. If you've invested in high quality content, keep up the good work – you're on the right track. If not, it's time to dig into just what awesome, quality copy is and how to attain it.

     Go Back


    seoIf SEO is a factor, here are three reasons why responsive web design is the best option for your mobile SEO strategy.

    1. Recommended By Google

    With 67 percent search market share, when Google speaks, search marketers listen. Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the industry best practice.

    This is because responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize content. Contrast this with a separate mobile site which has a different URL and different HTML than its desktop counterpart, requiring Google to crawl and index multiple versions of the same site.

    Additionally, Google prefers responsive web design because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site.

    Take for example a mobile user who shares content from a mobile site with a friend on Facebook who then accesses that content using a desktop, which results in that user viewing a stripped down mobile site on their desktop. This creates a less than optimal user-experience, and because of the large emphasis Google is now placing on user-experience as a ranking factor, this is essential to take into account with regards to SEO.

    2. One Website, Many Devices

    One of the most appealing aspects of responsive web design is that a responsive website can provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes. This is an important characteristic, since it is impossible to anticipate all the devices and screen sizes searchers will use to access your site. A site that works well regardless of these variables will provide a better and more consistent user-experience than a separate mobile site that is designed for a specific device and screen size.

    Let’s take the following example. Someone searches for a product on their smartphone during a lunch break at work. They find a site that has the product they’re looking for, and decide to continue researching this product on the same site when they get home. Except, when they get home, they will use their desktop instead of their smartphone.

    If the site in this example is responsive, this person will have a positive user-experience when transitioning from mobile to desktop because they will view the same site on their desktop as they did on their smartphone. On the other hand, if the site is a dedicated mobile site, this person will become frustrated with the fact that they have to locate the desktop version of the site, and find the product all over again.

    3. Easier to Manage

    Having a separate desktop and mobile site requires having separate SEO campaigns. Managing one site and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two sites and two SEO campaigns. This is a key advantage a responsive website has over a separate mobile site.

    That being said, there are benefits to having a mobile-specific SEO strategy, such as optimizing for keywords that are more likely to be searched when someone is on their smartphone.

    For example, someone performing a mobile search for a local restaurant may be more inclined to use the word “nearby” in their search query. However, a separate mobile site is not a requirement for a mobile SEO strategy, and there's no reason why mobile-specific keywords can't be incorporated into a responsive design site as well.


    Responsive web design is recommended by Google, it allows one website to provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes, and it also makes managing your SEO strategy easier. For these reasons, responsive web design is the best option for your mobile SEO strategy.

    Editor's note: This column originally was published on March 12, 2013, and comes in at No. 8 on our countdown of the 10 most read Search Engine Watch columns of 2013. As the clock ticks down to 2014, we're celebrating the Best of 2013 by revisiting our most popular columns, as determined by our readers. Enjoy and keep checking back!

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    toolbox full1) Responsive Design: the most critical for small business. Why? Because it is quickly becoming the standard, and if you don't comply, it will negatively affect your Google GOOG -1.17% ranking. Responsive design means a set website is a thing of the past. Instead, we must not feel like all elements that fit on a desktop must be present on the screen of a smartphone. That's where the design comes in, finding a pro who knows what will work best on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop-size screen, and including the elements that make for the most seamless and enjoyable format.

    2) Simple Design: Simplicity refers to the integration of best practices so site visitors get what they need seamlessly and without complication. What simplicity does not imply is generic. Yes, to powerful images. Yes, to meaningful content. Yes, to sleek and purposeful navigation. So how do you decide what is and what is not important? The right designer, of course. See, instead of random guessing, a qualified designer or team will do split testing to gauge response – taking out much of the guesswork. Plus, an experienced design team will have worked with similar companies/formats and should have a pretty good idea what is working, and what is working well. They will also be able to use pragmatism and remove your own personal bias and emotion.

    3) Storytelling Design: this methodology suggests that users are told a story through concise, compelling copy coupled with strong imagery as they scroll down the page. Another way to say it? MAKE. IT. FUN. Let them discover who you/your company are by letting it unfold before their eyes, so to speak. Let them start where you did and fast-track them to how you arrived at a solution. Gone are the days of "I am so great" over and over again – in every nook and cranny of your site. (At least we hope it will be after reading this.) Imagine scrolling down to the bottom of a website page, where the process unfolds like a fairy tale, or an evolution of sorts. Set a goal/challenge your designer, with something like this: "I want new visitors to be able to move down from the top of the page to the bottom in 30 seconds and have a crystal clear idea of who we are and what we do. And for repeat visitors, I want them to easily identify where to go to make a purchase, or visit our blog, virtually without having to look." Sure, an effective "storytelling" website is easier said than done. But it's a worthwhile challenge – and if it's done well, you're pretty much assured of a website that will be the belle of the ball.1


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     p>resp appThe most important factor you must consider is the cost of development. Mobile application cost can reach from expensive to more expensive, while responsive web design cost reach from moderate to affordable.

    So many are quick to jump onto the mobile app bandwagon without giving it much thought; however, your current website, and your organizational needs and requirements will dictate which of the approaches to mobile interaction you choose. Native mobile applications typically have a special purpose or some sort of user interaction in mind, and if that is your purpose and intention then a mobile app might be the way to go. If, on the other hand, you want to display your current website as it exists and on all devices, then the responsive approach might be your option. Once you examine the defining principles with considerations for each design option, only then can you make an educated decision for you and your organization.

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