Necessary SEO Strategy for 2016

Google can be scary, especially for SEO consultants. It’s always moving, always changing. And it does what it wants to do, without the need to consult marketers and web content managers. They might be planning on a major algorithm change and no one else knows. With 2015 behind, who knows what Google has in mind for 2016?

The one thing we can do is base this year’s strategy on emerging trends brought about by the previous one. Having a solid SEO strategy for 2016 is very crucial in this dog-eat-dog market. Forfeiting a good plan is a surefire formula for failure. So what does the near future hold for us? Here’s what experts from a Woodinville Web Design Company have to say.

Mobile, Mobile Everywhere

More and more people are ditching their bulky desktops and laptops in favor of smartphones and tablets. The previous year, 2015, saw an unprecedented increase in search traffic coming from mobile devices. This year is predicted to be the tipping point at which mobile-based searches and purchases will surpass those done through the traditional medium.

So how should you react? This exodus to the mobile environment calls for more than making sites more mobile friendly and accommodating to multiple devices. You need to look farther.

Woodinville Web Design Company suggests that you consider thinking mobile in all your decisions, whether it is for your website or your products and services. Content appearance on your website, services pages, product pages and layouts should be the main focus and it needs to be compliant to multiple environments before the pages are finalized and published.

There used to be a huge gap between desktops and mobile devices in terms of site compatibility that made people hesitant on doing searches on their smartphones. That gap is getting smaller every day as more sites become mobile-friendly, giving the users the exact, same experience, if not even better.

The goal is to plan for mobile design, mobile marketing, mobile advertising, mobile payment, mobile e-commerce, mobile customer relationship management, and mobile e-coupons, as well as the integration of all of these into local and social networks.

Half of mobile searches are converted into store visits within 24 hours. Local information searches on smartphones account for more than 70 percent of store visits. Mobile devices are taking the Internet by storm, literally. Local businesses are seeing a major growth in the number of customers brought about by mobile searches. This is the case for most retail stores, cafes, restaurants, and hotels.

Beam Me Up Siri, or Cortana, or Google!

What used to be in movies has become reality. You are now able to talk to your phone and make it do specific tasks. This applies to making mobile searches and voice based searches require an approach that is very much different than that of text based ones.

You want to know the nearest IKEA store in your city? You just type IKEA on your browser. Voice searches start with firing up the assistant application and making a query like “Where’s the nearest IKEA?” Voice-based search patterns on mobile devices is done with question words such as Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why.

Google will be adopting search features that integrate voice recognition on Google apps. The predicted increase in voice searches will be due to the fact that it’s faster than typing text on the browser. There are no statistics out yet on the number of voice-based searches versus text-based ones, but it’s getting there. You need to embrace this change and jump on the bandwagon or else be left out.

To keep up with the change, you need to accept mobile searches and their increasing popularity and increasing search engine proficiency which saves effort and time for consumers. Improving local SEO efforts should be the first step. Search results are dependent on a lot of factors which include product or services details, local citations, and reviews. You need to consider these elements if you want your site to rank high in search engine results.

If you have your own mobile app in conjunction with your website, you also need to make it search-friendly. Google has recognized the mobile app boom and is now indexing app content. You should also make sure that your app appears under application in search results so users can easily access and install it on mobile devices.

Direct Answers and Structured Data are the ‘In’ Thing

What you get at the top of the page when you do a search in Google is its attempt in providing what is called a direct answer. Restrictions and requirements of mobile based searching have propelled its growth. This means both bad and good news for SEO.

This is bad news for other “specialized” search engines and other answer engines like shopping searches, weather sites, lyric sites, and yellow pages. This is also bad if you’ve chosen collection and publishing of public domain data as your base business strategy because Google will be your direct competitor. Google also favors users over websites so don’t expect any change that will benefit SEO strategies.

This is good news if you land on the top of the search engine results which means you are the direct answer. Searches don’t always get useful direct answers because most sessions are composed of multiple search steps. Thus, you still have a chance if you don’t place first in the ranks.

Woodinville Web Design Company’s answer? Structured data. You need to tag your web page data in such a way that it can be easily understood by search engines. Structured data is what makes those thumbnails, ratings, operating hours, and prices visible with the site on the search list.

Data structuring is something that’s better left to professionals. It’s better for you to focus on expanding your business than be concerned with creating and managing structured data. However, it is required if you want search results that are more attractive and lead to click rate increase.

How to Implement a Successful Marketing Automation for SMEs

More than 55% of all B2B companies now use marketing automation and almost half of all companies in the US employ this flexible marketing strategy. If most sizable companies now embrace modern marketing to continue expanding their slice of the pie, there is no reason why small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) should not adopt it, too.

These tips that lead to successful marketing integration will help you enter a new chapter in your business venture and marketing efforts.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to the use of software and technologies that help marketing professionals tap multiple online platforms and channels all at the same time without having to repeat the tasks over and over again. This saves a lot of time and money by reducing manpower and overhead costs. Automating marketing needs is an excellent alternative for businesses that employ repetitive strategies, such as email marketing, web posting, and social media marketing.

Aside from the reduced marketing cost, integrating marketing automation into any small and medium enterprises is also advantageous because of the increased efficiency in the execution of strategies. In email marketing, for instance, automation results to simultaneous sending of marketing materials to leads and instantaneous response to predetermined actions (e.g. confirmation message for subscription). Furthermore, human error is greatly reduced and data analysis is simplified yet made more accurate.

Marketing automation is the most effective method of handling customer relationship management (CRM), especially when a business’ market continues to expand without active plan implementation. This is exactly the case with viral marketing and referral marketing where marketing leads become too much to handle and tend to.

Before you go to the implementation, you have to understand first that marketing automation is a two-way process that involves sending and receiving messages. It culminates into a cycle of marketing plans that changes according to the feedbacks received. The goal of this cycle is to convert leads to customers starting from the first cycle and so on.

Getting the message across to your leads is largely applicable to email marketing, although using mobile platforms for automated voice messaging is also common. This is the first stage or the sending part. To a certain extent, it also covers automated social media posting.

Receiving feedback, analyzing it, and using it to develop marketing materials and sales copies for the next cycle comprise the second stage or the receiving part.

A successful implementation is composed of the successful sending of effective messages; the receiving of positive feedbacks, loads of data, and confirmation; and the sending of follow-ups to close the conversion of leads to customers or of inquiries to orders and sales. The cycle goes on and on with the necessary changes applied until the end goals are met.

As you see the bigger picture of having marketing automation integrated into an SME business, it is just fitting to teach you how to successfully implement it with these easy tips.

  • Generate guaranteed leads.

This is quite obvious since you cannot implement marketing automation without marketing leads. In fact, lead generation is a totally different aspect of marketing that requires lengthy procedures. However, you should be told that only confirmed leads are to be used for the automation, carefully screening the list for duplication of recipient in the process.

It is easy for targeted customers to take an automated message as spam, so sending has to be subtle and not repetitive. It has to look like a part of marketing communication rather than of an advertising campaign.

  • Identify different touch points relevant to your marketing plan.

These refer to the online platforms where the automation software will be used. Basically, you want to tap the platforms that reach your target market faster, such as social media sites. Why determine other usable online platforms when automation is mostly applicable to email marketing only?

Email marketing is just one method of using marketing automation, and it is already a giveaway. Some software are now capable of automating messages to Facebook and YouTube users, as well as other similar online platforms. Do not confine your marketing plan to email marketing if you can tap other available platforms.

  • Prepare strong sales copies with call-to-action.

The effectiveness of automation lies on the message. You have to send clear and compelling copies to successfully receive a positive feedback. A subtly written call-to-action will make your intention clear. The initial message you will send should be affective and specifically written for humans, not web crawlers. Your next messages will depend on the success rate of getting feedbacks.

Eventually, you can categorize your leads depending on their web movements, website patterns, initial actions (e.g. confirmation, rejection, inquiry), and personal profiles. You can also categorize your prospective customers based on their demographic information and interests.

Furthermore, be sure to also focus on analyzing the effectiveness of sent messages and sending patterns. For instance, determine what subject heading, theme, content, graphics, and time of sending bring in optimal conversion of leads.

  • Develop a compelling landing page.

Not all small and medium businesses have a fully functional website. While this is discouraged, you can still find success in just having a compelling landing page. This is the webpage where prospects are directed to should they decide to heed the call-to-action.

This is the time to bring out your best idea to convert interested leads. Many businesses present their sales pitch in video format for easier understanding and instant sharing. The use of visually appealing infographics is also a common technique in presenting compelling statistics, especially when integrated with social proof marketing.

The landing page, for a starter, can have limited sections, such as an introductory page for your business, a contact section, and a link to your sales page. If you do not have a functional sales page but has an account in other e-marketing platforms like Amazon, might as well use that to redirect prospects

  • Use a reliable web analytic tool for web tracking.

It is important that you use a program that can analyze, sort, categorize, and manage all data collected from the movements of your leads online. These data will be the baseline of your succeeding marketing campaigns, so the patterns should be clearly identified.